“It looks, feels and wears like traditional denim,” Shubhankar Ray, G-Star’s global brand director, said of G-Star’s reclaimed-plastic jeans in an interview. “It develops character over time and improves with age—you would never guess at the technology when you touch the product, that it is made from recycled plastic bottles.”

The motivation for these projects is to address the shocking amount of discarded plastic the world has to contend with. (A few more sales and some sustainability cred don’t hurt either.) An estimated five trillion pieces of plastic trash are afloat in just the world’s oceans, to say nothing of what’s clogging landfills.

Making clothes out of recycled plastic won’t singlehandedly solve such a huge problem. But it’s a step in the right direction, and it will only work if the companies doing it make products that customers actually want to buy. So far so good.

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