Old Toothbrushes, Yogurt Cups and Cell Phones Become Activewear

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trash, upcycle, Kickstarter, fitness gear
Kenai Sports turns plastic waste into activewear. Photo: Kenai Sports

You may not be shocked to hear jeans or T-Shirts can be made from plastic bottles since recycled polyester is becoming increasingly common. One company, though, takes recycling plastic into clothing to a new level.

Kenai Sports of New Britain, Conn., is an athletic apparel company that partners with landfills across the country to turn all sorts of plastic waste – cell phones, yogurt cups, keyboards and even old toothbrushes – into high-performance gear. The company makes T-Shirts, jerseys, jackets and other clothing items for corporations, athletic programs, police departments and nonprofits. Their work over the past year has allowed them to develop fabrics that can withstand tough conditions, while at the same time keeping waste out of landfills.

Kenai Sports recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to make their products more widely available to the public. If the project raises enough money, Kenai plans to upcycle 10 football fields-worth of plastic trash into moisture-wicking yoga pants and breathable zip-tops.

The company’s pants and tops all come with a 10-year warranty. Plus, since styles change over time, supporters of the initial project will be able to send their garments back to the company in exchange for a discount on new styles. This old activewear won’t go to waste.

“Your original purchase won’t be rotting away in a landfill – after we receive the clothing, we’re going to ‘close the loop.’ That means we’ll be re-purposing the fabric for a variety of uses, from new clothing to home insulation and more,” explains Kenai’s Kickstarter page.

Americans generate enough plastic waste to fill a stadium like Boston’s Fenway Park to the brim 26 times each year, according to Kenai. Finding another way to reuse that waste – especially 10 football fields worth of it – can help make a dent in that number.

To learn more or support the project, visit the Kenai Sports Kickstarter page.

More Recycled Activewear: Green Your Workout with Recycled Fitness Gear