The term "biodegradable" has been used over the past few years, to describe plastics or packaging that could potentially be metabolized by microorganisms in nature, with complete breakdown to CO2/Methane, water and biomass. However, there is significant confusion and controversy surrounding biodegradable plastics since many suppliers have used the term to loosely describe their material/packaging without specifying the conditions under which the material would degrade in nature. For instance, some plastics (like PLA) will only degrade under industrial composting conditions, while some others (like PHA) can break down under a wider range of conditions and environments (industrial, backyard, marine). Given this widespread confusion and the misuse of the "biodegradable" term, many global government and industry organizations have issued guidelines to restrict or eliminate the unqualified use of biodegradable as a descriptor of plastics or packaging. These include the European Commission guidelines (European Plastics Strategy) and the Federal Trade Commission Green Guides in the US.
In line with such guidelines, Ubuntoo's recommends that companies providing biodegradable materials, products or packaging:
1.Avoid unqualified use of the term "biodegradable" to describe their products
2.Any claim of biodegradability should be accompanied by a description of specific conditions and environments under which the material or product will undergo degradation in nature
3.It is strongly recommended that companies provide globally accepted certifications or testing for various biodegradability claims (such as the BPA certification for industrial composting)
Further in line with the position articulated by the European Commission as well as major CPG companies, Ubuntoo recommends that "biodegradable" plastics should not be considered a solution for littering (or worse a license to litter). Appropriate collection and end-of-life solutions (such as industrial composting or home composting) need to be put into place to avoid biodegradable plastics ending up as litter in the environment.
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Last Bottle Clothing was conceived to lighten the ecological burden of plastics on our planet and lower the carbon footprint of manufacturing, while creating a product that consumers can enjoy for years. All their clothes are made 100% from recycled plastic bottles, are 100% recyclable into new clothing at the end of their useful lives.
Apparel manufacturing is the 2nd worst polluter after fossil fuels, contributing enormously to global climate change. At Last Bottle Clothing, they strive to radically change the apparel industry by proving that it is possible to build a great product and implement solutions to the environmental crisis we’re all experiencing.
Clothes are made from unwanted plastic bottles or old Last Bottle clothing. The plastic from this waste is shredded into particles and then pellets. This is done locally in the United States with different suppliers, all in the same area. This also supports their sustainable business practices by reducing the carbon footprint. Once the first part of this process is completed, another supplier turns it into a polyester like thread. It is then processed into fabric or yarn to be made into a wearable material. Lastly, at the end of the product's life cycle, it can be recycled to produce more clothes via Last Bottle Clothing. A simple process like this could have a big impact because one T-shirt alone can be made from on average of 13 bottles of plastic.
Transportation of clothing across continents and oceans is highly polluting and accounts for a large share of the industry’s carbon footprint. Last Bottle Clothing’s supply chain was built differently. It was developed by intimately understanding their supplier partners, ensuring they are environmental and social leaders in the industry, and that they are all located in close proximity in the US. They source all materials, manufacture all cloth, and assemble all clothing in the Carolinas, resulting in one of the smallest carbon footprints in our industry.
Justin Koehn co-founded Last Bottle Clothing as a business solution to help tackle plastic and apparel pollution while supporting manufacturing jobs in the US. Prior to Last Bottle Clothing, he was VP Strategic Sourcing at Suntrust Bank and Strategic Sourcing Manager - Business Services at the Home Depot. Justin holds an MBA at the Emory University - Goizueta Business School.
Founder & CEO
Stuart co-founded Last Bottle Clothing after holding several leadership positions in procurement at the Home Depot. Prior to that, he was an associated structured finance at GE Capital. Stuart has a Bachelor's Degree Economics at Colgate University and an MBA at Thunderbird School of Global Management, PH, Arizona.