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Everlane’s new line, the ReNew Collection, is outerwear that’s made with recycled plastic bottles as an eco-friendly alternative.
It’s part of the company’s ambitious 2021 goals to eliminate all virgin plastics from its supply chain.
We tested a reversible puffer, parka, and fleece from the line to give you an idea of what they’re like in person.
Everlane is one of multiple companies using recycled water bottles as an eco-friendly material.
On October 24, 2018, cult-favorite startup Everlane has announced ambitious environmental goals and a new collection built to spearhead the company-wide shift.
The ReNew Collection is a line of outerwear (fleeces, parkas, puffers, and sweaters) made out of recycled water bottles. Altogether, the collection is “renewing” a whopping 3 million of them. We tested out some of the new products to give you a sense of what they’re like in real life, and you can find our thoughts below before shopping.
Everlane’s logic is simple. We’ve created eight billion pounds of a toxic material that stays on the planet forever — so why don’t we stop making more, and reuse what’s already in our backyards?
ReNew will not be a shock to Everlane shoppers. The startup has built its reputation and success on its transparency — integrating video footage of its factories, hosting Transparency Tuesday Q & As on Instagram once a week, offering pricing breakdowns on product pages, instituting “Choose What You Pay” sales, and debuting a sustainable denim collection made in the “world’s cleanest denim factory.”
Using recycled materials — especially water bottles — is not a new endeavor. Patagonia has been making recycled polyester from plastic soda bottles since 1993. Labels like Reformation use mostly deadstock fabrics and repurposed vintage clothing. Girlfriend Collective makes chic, affordable activewear from recycled water bottles and fishing nets. Outdoors gear startup Cotopaxi creates limited edition collections from its leftover fabrics. The list goes on.
However, recycling is still in the vast minority of retail companies, and the industry itself is one of the worst for the environment. Even post-production, only about 15.3% of all textiles are recycled according to the EPA (2015 estimates).
We aren’t doing any better where plastics are concerned. In just 60 years, we’ve created eight billion tons of the material. It’s so inseparable to our lives that plastic has even started showing up in human feces (that’s right, you may be unintentionally eating it). Yet companies are using more virgin plastic today than ever before, and some of the most polluting industrial sectors include packaging (149 million tons per year), textiles (59 million tons), and consumer or institutional products like pens, gum, and keyboards (42 million tons).
ReNew is the first act of a more ambitious, lengthier strategy. By 2021, Everlane will eliminate all virgin plastic from their supply chain. Smaller steps will be implemented much sooner, like reducing single-use plastic in offices and stores by 50% (March 2019), use renewed alternatives to polyester in production (2018), and starting to ship orders in 100% post-consumer recycled poly bags (2019). The startup is also forming an internal sustainability committee to educate their team on waste reduction and conduct progress audits to see how well waste diversion is going. By the time 2021 rolls around, the company plans to have redeveloped all existing yarns, fabrics, and raw materials containing virgin plastic with renewed equivalents.
Everlane makes great clothes; it’s why people buy them. It helps that they also try to make them in a better, more honest way than a lot of the other options people have. ReNew is no different — the outerwear is comfortable, stylish, made to last, and moderately priced. It has helpful upgrades, comes in cool colors, and feels good to wear. The fact that it’s ushering in a much-needed commitment to better, smarter supply chains is just an added incentive.
We tried a few standout pieces from the Everlane ReNew Collection. Here’s what we thought:The ReNew Lightweight Hooded Puffer
For the past 10 years, my go-to winter coat has been a bulky (but warm) peacoat. I was recently able to try Everlane’s ReNew puffer, and it’s the winter essential I didn’t realize I needed. The first thing I noticed when I put the jacket on was its light weight. How could something that’s supposed to keep me warm in the cold feel this light? I didn’t have to wonder long — I wore the jacket outside and immediately appreciated its insulation. For the past two weeks the coat kept wind, rain, and general cold weather from making me chilly. In fact, I actually felt warmer than I did with my peacoat on. The jacket’s extra features, like being reversible and made from recycled bottles, are just icing on the cake. — Brandt Ranj, Insider Picks associate editor
The ReNew Oversized Parka
I have to admit that Everlane would not be the first place I’d go to shop for winter gear — that honor usually goes to outdoor brands that specialize in weather-proofing. That’s why I was especially impressed with the ReNew Oversized Parka. This slightly puffy parka is super warm and cozy, with all the right features to protect you on one of those days when it seems like the wind can penetrate right into your bones. It has deep pockets (with both top and side openings) to stuff your hands into, a drawstring hood, and both a zipper and buttons to block out the elements.
The fact that the water-resistant shell and insulation are both made from recycled materials makes this parka all the more impressive. If you can buy clothing that’s better for the environment without sacrificing performance, why wouldn’t you go for it? Given the choice between Everlane’s parka and another one of comparable price, I would surely go for Everlane.
I recommend sizing down for a closer fit. I’m normally a medium, but a small fit perfectly, with enough room to wear a form-fitting long-sleeved shirt or a thin sweater underneath. — Connie Chen, Insider Picks reporter
The ReNew Fleece Half-Zip
Everlane’s ReNew Half-Zip Fleece is a great cold weather essential — surprisingly warm, relatively inexpensive and compact, and cozy to wear. It’s slightly rougher to the touch than I expected, which usually coincides with better experiences wearing it in damp or drizzly weather, and the ribbed cuffs and drawstring waist keep the cold out. I got it in this earthy, autumnal “brick” color and love how vivid it is in person. — Mara Leighton, Insider Picks reporter
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