An Irish entrepreneur living in New York has carved out a niche in the cut-throat fashion trade – making jeans from recycled beer bottles.
Dubliner Peter Heron has launched 'I Am Not A Virgin,' his new clothing line made from part-recycled materials.
The Journal.ie reports that Heron is utilising recycled brown beer bottles in his manufacturing process.
It says the range is called 'I Am Not A Virgin' because the materials used to make the clothes, including jeans and t-shirts, are made from non-virgin, recycled sources.
A resident in New York for three years, Green Card holder Heron first began making jeans from fabric scraps at manufacturing mills.
TheJournal.ie reports that he changed tack when he met a senior designer from DKNY, who told him about a new fabric which is made from 75 percent cotton and 25 percent recycled synthetic material, which includes brown beer bottles.
“We will eventually have different lines of jeans made from green soda bottles, blue water bottles and my original idea of using fabric scraps collected at the manufacturing mills," he said.
“We’re also making t-shirts that are made with recycled food trays, clear water bottles, discarded c-ray film and, in the future, empty yoghurt cartons.”
Explaining the process, he said: “So first, the bottles (all colours) are separated using a machine that has optical sensors. Arms kick out certain colours into their respective bins.
“Once separated, the entire bottle (including paper and cap) is grinded into small chips. Then they are placed in water. All paper and caps will float to the top and the usable plastic will not.
“This would be what would be used for the colour. Next, the useable chips are ground down even further to a fine particle. This particle is the same compound found in polyester.
“The particle is melted and squeezed through a high-pressured nozzle, which then gets cooled to create silver. In turn, the silver is turned into the yarn.”
On his website, at www.IAmNotAVirgin.com, Heron writes that he wants to design clothes that his friends and he himself will wear.
He previously worked in the advertising industry in Dublin and New York.
Heron added: “I’ve co-directed a music video, taught a concepting class to Masters Students here in NYC at Miami Ad School and have always been involved in friend’s creative projects.”
With his range including inputs from patternmakers and cutters from Marc Jacobs and Ralph Lauren, Heron is now fundraising.
He has put a deal together for people willing to leave a donation on the micro-finance site Kickstarter.com or pre-order items from the range.
He said: “Kickstarter is about a community coming together and believing in your brand.”
The prototypes and Heron’s offer are available on the Kickstarter site for the next 22 days.