A UK-based fashion designer has revealed how she is repurposing discarded plastic bottles to create luxury vegan fashion.
Vanita Bagri is the Founder and CEO at LaBante London, a brand producing luxury handbags and sunglasses. The brand, which is vegan-certified, focuses on using materials that are eco-friendly as well as animal-free.
Bagri describes this philosophy as 'fashion with respect' - saying she wants to give consumers the experience of luxury, craftsmanship, and a timeless aesthetic - while respecting the world we live in.
Importance of the environment
One of the ways the designer adheres to philosophy is by using recycled plastic bottles to make polyester lining for her handbags. Bagri told Plant Based News: "At LaBante London the state of our environment is of utmost importance to us.
"It's something that's been important to us from the get-go. Years ago you could see the great barrier reef from space now all you can see is a big convergence of trash in the Pacific Ocean.
"There's a lot of plastic being thrown in there, it impacts sea life. How much more is it going to take for everyone to wake up and see the problem? We can all see the problem - someone needs to take a stand."
And Bagri wants to be one of those taking a stand. "Our small contribution in reducing plastic ending up in our oceans is by using recycled polyester for the interior in all our handbags," she said. "We also use recycled fabrics for our dust bags, and our paper swing tags are recycled as well as recyclable."
According to the designer, recycled polyester is made by breaking down single-use plastic bottles (PET bottles) into pellets, these are then melted, cooled and spun into yarn.
"So instead of using new fabrics, we use this recycled fabric, which prevents more plastic from being dumped into landfills or our oceans," she told PBN. "Our earth is our home, so we care to use recycled products and use production processes that respect the environment."