A vending machine that accepts plastic bottles as currency and dispenses limited-edition T-shirts made of fabric from recycled plastics made its debut during New York Fashion Week.
The machine set up on Eighth Avenue, just south of Columbus Circle, is designed to put a spotlight on the growing role of plastics in the garment industry and how recycled materials can live on as chic clothing, in this case by socially conscious, classic style-maker Allison Parris.
Parris partnered with Plastics Make it Possible, an initiative of the American Chemistry Council, on the project turning heads of both fashion forward and eco-minded trend setters.
"The simple act of recycling a plastic bottle or container or wrap not only helps reduce waste but also helps create the raw materials for making new, useful products, such as clothing," Steve Russell, the ACC's vice president of plastics, said in a statement.
The T-shirts feature one of Parris's original designs on material made of plastic bottles that are cleaned, melted, and stretched into a fine thread woven into a soft fabric.
"When consumers recycle plastics, it gives designers like me the ability to create clothing that's both fashion-conscious and eco-conscious," Parris said in a statement. "Recycled plastic makes a real contribution to sustainability in fashion -- both in my line and the industry as a whole."
The vending machine will be out Wednesday. However, through Thursday, five visitors a day to the Plastics Make it Possible website will win one of Parris's T-shirts. To enter, leave a comment about what plastics they recycle at www.plasticsmakeitpossible.com.
This story by Catherine Kavanaugh originally appeared in Advertising Age/Creativity sibling pub Plastics News.