We all know that plastic waste is contributing to our overflowing landfills and that it’s a major contributor to ocean pollution. While some companies have committed to using less plastic overall (paper straws can go the way of the Dodo though as far as I’m concerned), there are a few innovative organizations that are taking a lot of that plastic and turning it into some really interesting products.
One of the most recent ones to come to our attention is WAySTEaD.
Using skilled Japanese textile artisans, designer Hideyuki Hayashi’s and his new brand WAySTEaD are transforming waste into treasure by taking nylon from hot air balloons, unexploded airbags, excess seat belts, and old plastic bottles and transforming it into cutting edge recycled streetwear.
The global production of nylons used in hot air balloon’s, seat belts and emergency airbags releases the greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide into the atmosphere. Meanwhile, disposal of existing nylons in landfills means waiting 30-40 years for full decomposition or incineration which releases carbon monoxide, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide and more into the atmosphere. Simply put, producing more nylon and ineffectively disposing of the existing nylon is contributing to global warming.
Industrial nylon used for hot air balloon’s, seat belts and emergency airbags is notoriously difficult to up-cycle. Airbags are stiff, seatbelts are difficult to sew through and hot air balloon nylon can become badly stained throughout its life. Likewise, plastic bottles have to be collected, transformed into plastic pellets and then turned into clothing. For all these reasons most fashion designers reject the challenges and limitations of up-cycled materials.
However, rather than run away from the challenge, WAySTEaD have used careful design and expert artisan outfitters to create an exciting range of streetwear pieces from waste. The Airbag Jacket recycles unused airbags, transforming them into oversize button blouson jackets with a retro-futuristic vibe. Embracing the return of 90s logo-mania and the boxy Y2K silhouette the statement piece is durable and unique. The Hot Air Balloon Coat is made from the coated nylon envelope material that makes up the vast balloon section of a modern hot air balloon. After an intensive cleaning process, the complex task of pattern cutting and sewing begins. Each final drawstring jacket features an innovative patchwork motif colour matched to the print-resistant base material.
Available in black, yellow, white and racing green, the jackets are lined with recycled polyester mesh and are an awesome statement piece for environmental champions and style influencers alike. Next, the design team set about up-cycling unused seat belts destined for a landfill. The Seatbelt Racing Jacket took inspiration from 80s burger chains, American varsity jackets and the classic racing jackets of the 1960s. Reshaped and exaggerated the new silhouette takes advantage of the stiff nylon seat belts for the torso using a red, black or yellow recycled polyester upper yoke that joins the matching coloured oversize drop sleeves. Lastly, their Plastic Bottle T-shirts fully embrace the retro logo-mania and the oversize silhouette of the 90s grunge era. With 12 designs featuring everything from full-size images to single line captions in four bold colours, there’s something for wannabe every eco-warrior.
With every exceptional piece painstakingly made to order the company believe “the longer you dream, the harder you love”. The debut collection from WAySTEaD is currently only available on their Kickstarter with deliveries expected between four and eight weeks of the close of the campaign.