New Hampshire


Earthtec is an outdoor clothing company based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Their mission is to “combat wastefulness with resourcefulness ” by using recycled plastic bottle material in their fabrics. Annually, 150 billion plastic bottles end up in landfills. These bottles take 450 years to decompose. Meanwhile, more petroleum is extracted in order to make polyester products, eventually contributing to even larger landfills. Both polyester and plastic, however, commonly contain the same material (PET). So, Earthtec’s CEO Dennis Randall decided to use discarded plastic bottles to make “recycled” polyester, thus bypassing the need for newly created PET.

About 12 plastic bottles on average go into each garment. The plastic is cleaned, shredded, melted and made into polyester yarn. In return, approximately a gallon of gasoline is saved for each pound of yard. Earthtec also makes other clothing materials sustainable. They use organic cotton, which avoids the large amount of agricultural chemicals, heavy water usage, and ecological harm that are involved in traditional cotton production. They also use organic wool, which protects sheep from synthetic hormones, synthetic pesticides and genetically modified food as well as promotes ecological harmony and general livestock health. Because of their recycled, sustainable clothing along with their shortened chain of production (development, knitting, dyeing, and finishing are all done by Earthtec, lessening their carbon footprint), Earthtec calls their apparel “clothing with a conscience”.

Earthtec, a self-proclaimed earth-loving company, has also tried to further demonstrate its commitment to sustainability by using green building techniques in the design of its store and setting up recycling bins in its local community. I really like that Earthtec is tackling the problem of our growing, seemingly indefinite mounds of waste. While we need to reduce our impact overall, companies like Earthtec are finding innovative solutions to deal with our remaining trash. Now, if only we could find a use for all those plastic bags laying in landfills…

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