Charity Magazine

Eco-Friendly Shirts from A Lot to Say, Inc.

Posted on the 29 May 2012 by Steveliu @charitablegift

How would you like to wear a T-shirt that’s made entirely of plastic bottles? And no, I’m not talking about this happy fellow’s outfit…

Eco-Friendly Shirts from A Lot to Say, Inc.

No, this is an actual eco-friendly T-shirt from a great organization called A Lot To Say, Inc.  It’s a great on-line store that sells everything from T-shirts to pillowcases to swimwear to umbrellas to yoga mats to baby blankets to bags to pet accessories to bikinis to tote bags to even canvas artwork. So what’s special about this company? Actually, two things. The first is that every one of their products is made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. That’s right, not 5% or 10%, but 100%.

The first question that came to my head was, wouldn’t it be really uncomfortable to wear a T-shirt made of plastic? I recently had the opportunity to try out one of these T-Shirts.

The T-shirt itself came packed simply yet elegantly in tissue paper, which looked classy but was itself recycled.

recycled bottle t-shirt package

To my surprise, when I took the shirt out it felt really soft. Admittedly, when I heard that the shirt was going to be made of all plastic bottles, I assumed it’d at least be a little stiff and plastic.

t-shirt made from recycled bottles

I handed the shirt to Lisa, and her eyes lit up and she exclaimed “oooh! soft!”

When it came time to try the shirt on, I was blown away. The T-shirt is not only soft, it’s actually softer, lighter, and silkier than any cotton T-shirt I have.

The slogan on this particular shirt says:

Peace is where it’s at. Peace in the world means peace in our community. Peace in our community means peace in our home. Peace in our home means peace in our heart. And peace in our heart accounts for 50% of the reason we live longer. Peace out.

The imprinting is really interesting. Unlike other T-shirts, there’s not a caked layer of dye; instead, the words seem smoothly and seamlessly printed on the threads themselves (see below for details of the process by which they do this, which ends up saving a lot of fresh water).

I wouldn’t have believed that this shirt was made of plastic bottles, but surely enough the label reiterated it.

plastic bottles

How do they do it? Their technology actually allows them to turn plastic bottles (yes, the same ones that we throw into the recycle bin) into an amazing variety of synthetic fabrics. from fabrics soft enough to make a baby blanket to fabrics durable enough to make a dog leash (it gives a new meaning to the phrase PET bottles

:)
). I’d say it’s similar to other synthetic fibers like polyester, spandex, rayon, etc.

How environmentally friendly is it? They say that just one T-shirt will prevent 60 used plastic bottles from going to landfills. What’s more, because they imprint their T-shirts with a “No Water Dye” method, over 700 gallons of fresh water are saved. I did a double-take when I read this statistic, but it’s true–one traditional cotton T-shirt takes over 700 gallons of fresh water to dye.

The apparel is as stylish as it is eco-friendly. They come imprinted with inspirational messages such as…

Dream it, believe it, do it. Plant a secret garden, start your own business, paint in pastels, hop a flight to Fiji, be a truer friend. Fact is, we spend over 6 years of our life dreaming. So close your eyes. Say yes, I can. And start living the dream. 

or informative “green” messages such as

Love the planet, lose the plastic. Only 3% of plastic is being recycled. The rest winds up buried in landfills and can take between 200 to 400 years to degrade. 

I had a chuckle when I saw how appropriate their messages are to their products. Their pillowcases come with the “dream” message, their yoga mats come with a “breathe” message, their pet accessories come with a “fetch” message, and their iPad case comes with a “surf” message. The designs are unique and serve as both a great reflection of your values as well as a great conversation starter.

As if that weren’t “good” enough, all of their products are made in the USA. With all of the big clothing companies rush to countries with less-than-ethical governments, overlooking their many human rights atrocities just for the cheap labor, it’s refreshing to see one company keeping jobs here. While the prices on ALottoSay.com are a bit higher than what you might find at your local Walmart, the old adage of “you get what you pay for” applies here. Because the items are produced with such high quality and 100% toxin-free, they’ll last up to 6 times longer than items mass-produced by cheap labor overseas.

And if that weren’t “good” enough, A Lot To Say donates a generous amount of proceeds to a number of worthy charities, including The International Green Energy Council, Global GreenStand Up To CancerAnimal Rescue Foundation, and Heal the Bay.

I used to always wonder after recycling plastic bottles where those bottles end up going, and wonder what is made from recycled plastic bottles? A Lot of Say has a lot to say about that. And the answer is, just about anything.

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