I Am Not A Virgin
It seems like these days, everything is made from something else. I love it, I think we SHOULD reuse materials as much as possible, in order to keep Mother Earth from booting us off sooner than later. I AM NOT A VIRGIN uses recycled materials to produce apparel like jeans and tshirts. It started in 2011 when founder Peter Heron made prototypes of his jeans out of fabric scraps. He collected the scraps from multiple Chinese manufacturing mills with intentions to reduce factory waste. In early 2011 Heron decided he would try to create an American-made fabric consisting of 75% cotton and 25% recycled synthetic materials. These materials include brown beer bottles, which can be broken down to a thread-like material by means of a very difficult process.
What happens is after the beer bottles are collected they are sorted and ground into smaller chips. The chips are placed into a water bath, and this is where the useless stuff like the paper labels and scraps float to the top and are discarded. The usable chips sink to the bottom of the water bath. From this point the chips are ground into a very fine particle which mimics the same components of polyester. That particle is then melted down and squeezed through a super high-pressure nozzle. (Remember those Playdough spaghetti makers? Something like that, only way more intense.) The resulting strand of material is twisted into a yarn, which is then blended with virgin cotton, and then woven into denim. Awesome.
It may not seem crazy impressive that IANAV only uses 25% of reused materials, but Heron explains, “You need a certain amount of virgin cotton for durability. It’s the same as if you were making denim from scraps, the right balance of polyester and cotton will give you a long-lasting jean.” Makes perfect sense to me! I need my denim able to take a beating.
IANAV has a limited run of 400 brown beer bottle jeans available for purchase. These unique jeans were actually stitched inside out, to show the buyer the unique weave of the synthetic and natural materials. They have not been washed in any sort of dye, making them a more comfortable fit, comparable to a trouser, verses your standard denim jeans. The women’s jean is woven with 1% elasticity for that extra stretch we all love so much.
Heron doesn’t really have plans to stop at just these brown beer bottle jeans. In fact he has just brought on a new partner, Walt Connelly, who was the former executive creative director at JWT and Ogilvy. Heron says, “We will eventually have different lines of jeans made from green soda bottles, blue water bottles, and my original idea of using fabric scraps collected at the manufacturing mills. We’re also making t-shirts that are made with recycled food trays (tri-blend black color), clear water bottles (white color), discarded x-ray film (light gray color) and in the future empty yogurt cartons. The t-shirts are super soft and feel great.”
If you want to help IANAV continue to create these awesome recycled fashions you can make a donation to their Kickstarter page. If you donate $55 you get your very own limited edition t-shirt made out of recycled food trays and water bottles. If you donate $100 or more you will receive a pair of indigo jeans. If you really want to go above and beyond you can donate $5,000 which pretty much guarantees that you will be outfitted with the best of the best that IANAV has to offer.