Chic Products to Reduce Plastic Pollution


Guess who's coming to dinner. Seven billion people and an aquatic ecosystem that in 2050 will have more trash in it by weight than fish.

That's a heavy burden for Mother Nature, and her guests.

According to New Girl star, Zooey Deschanel, for example, studies found that over the span of one year in Europe, people who ate seafood consumed some 11,000 tiny pieces of plastic that was first ingested by the fish.

And vegans aren't exempt. Polluted waters seep into our agriculture, tap and bottles; and let Bhutan tell it, the overall climate change floods even the eco-friendliest of paradises.

Zooey explains further in the video below (don't worry, there are closed captions for those of us who have no idea what she's talking about).

That hope that she talks about in the end -- the one that springs eternally -- is in the following food ware and fashions. All of these products use recycled and upcycled plastics to reduce the amount of pollution in our landfills and waters.

Bon appétit!


u konserve.

These stemless tumblers are perfect for brunch, and every other meal and meal-adjacent meal. According to the stats collected by the two mothers who created U Konserve, in the U.S. alone 50 percent of plastic is used only once, 32 percent of our trash is packaging, and only 8 percent of plastic gets recycled.

What happens to all that plastic? It ends up in landfills, incinerators (leading to thick air pollution), or as litter (some 250,000 tons of trash floating in the oceans). Realizing this is what inspired Lynn and Chance to develop a reusable lunch kit for their children to take to school, and in 2008, U Konserve was born.

Their other pet peeve plastic waste products include straws (500 million used everyday in the U.S., or 127 school buses full) and coffee cups (23 pounds per year per person, if only one single-use cup is used daily). Problem solved!




leaf republic.

These super sleek "Izumi" serving plates don't just look like leaves. They are leaves. Each dish is made from bioplastic, or recycled plastic, water-proof leaf-made paper, and leaves, of course. Plus, unlike that pesky plastic addiction we have, each dish biodegrades within 28 days. Talk about living that Jane of the Jungle dream.




Cape Porpoise trading co.

The "Isle Au Haut" Recycled Lobster Rope Doormat pictured below is just one of the colorful, handmade, made-to-order designs by this company that uses -- you guessed it -- recycled lobster rope.

After "float rope" was banned due to whale entanglement issues, The Cape Porpoise Trading Co. partnered with the Maine Lobstermen Association to create a new way of using the material, instead of sending it to the dump. Their intent is to create eco-friendly goods that "aesthetically evoke positive emotion," you know, that feeling you get when you vacay on the coast. What a cool and conscientious way to welcome guests into your home.




g-staR RAW.

If you want to look as chic as you are smart, G-Star has your denim fix. The drapey, silky silhouette, v-neck lining and delicate straps make this "G-Star Singlet Top," for example, one of those must-have, day-to-night shirts. Bonus: it's made with sustainable materials.

In 2016, G-Star teamed up with the Plastic Soup Foundation to develop the first denim clothing made from recycled ocean plastic and now they are working to completely replace their 10 percent conventional polyester with the eco-friendly material. Also, Pharrell signed on as co-owner that year. How "happy" are we about that? 




adidas x parley

You may really walk on water with this one. Famed shoe brand, adidas teamed up with Parley (a collective of eco-minded artists and innovators) and industrial designer Alexander Taylor to bring us a durable sneaker made from two types of recycled plastic.

The white part is PET, the non-toxic, lightweight, 100 percent recyclable Polyethylene Terephthalate used for clear bottles. The teal part is a material known as nylon 6 gill-net, salvaged off the coast of Africa from illegal fishermen.




dharma co.

Wellness is written into the name of this company with a mission of keeping your eyes on the prize. Dharma is a Sanskrit word that means "responsibility," "path" or "cosmic order," as in we're all on this road to healing Mama Earth together.

The founder, Dhruv Jagasia took his family tradition of frame-making and elevated it with more impactful sustainability practices including recycled materials, mindful manufacturing that eliminates the run-off waste that seeps into our environment, partnerships with fair trade companies, and donations to Optometry Giving Sight.

Dharma Co. also has an internal recycling program that nets you 20 percent off your new frames, when you return your old ones. They're not only 100 percent UVA/UVB protectors, but 100 percent en vogue.*



designs by Olayemi Samson (nigeria).

Fashion is in the eye of the beholder, and people around the world are seeing a future in eco-wear. This man's methods may be basic, but his intention is as clear and complex as the issue itself.


Forget a gas-guzzling SUV. Look, instead, to dazzle your dinner companions with your grace and balance on the world's first recycled fishing net skateboard deck, the Bureo. This Left Coast version of traveling in style is also cute and badass for springtime everywhere with its custom split tail and gripping scale pattern. 

Show up on this fish-shaped cruiser with some Boardwalk Fries, and you've won the day.





We can't say enough about the waste that accumulates from water, soda and juice bottles. If you're not having a travel emergency (remember don't drink from plastic bottles left in a hot car), prep for your ventures with one of the most efficient purification systems available.



*dharma co. and aquatru are two of UWM's esteemed affiliate partners.

featured photo courtesy of Dharma Co. instagram.