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Shoe Made From Recycled Ocean Trash Pops Up in Time for Summer

Adidas teams up with Parley for the Oceans to create a new line made from colorful sea garbage.

As a rule I’m skeptical of big brands “going green,” but it seems adidas might just be on to something. Recently the sporty retail giant teamed up with Parley for the Oceans—an idealistic group of “creators, thinkers and leaders” attempting to re-purpose the ocean’s overwhelming amount of trash into reusable material—for a mystery project. Monday at the United Nations the brand unveiled their collaboration: the world's first ever shoe upper made solely from harvested ocean plastic and illegal deep-sea gillnets. The nets were retrieved after a 110-day expedition by Parley partner organization Sea Shepherd, where they tracked an illegal poaching vessel off the coast of West Africa.

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Inspired Designer Creates Literal Coffee Cups From Recycled Grounds

Never in history has the phrase “I’ll have a cup of coffee” been more accurate.

Image from the Kaffeeform website.

German designer Julian Lechner spent five years developing a formula for this line of coffee cups and saucers made of coffee grounds. The final recipe includes a mix of recycled grounds, collected from local cafes, natural glues, and sustainably-sourced wood grains. The resulting Kaffeeform Cups, which Lechner is now making available to buyers online, are waterproof and have been pilot-tested at a few local coffee shops. According to Dezeen, the material retains the scent of the coffee grounds—it would be interesting to see how that extra dimension of aroma would deepen the coffee-drinking experience.

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From Plastic Bags To Haute Couture, Designer Celebrates South African Heritage

A haute couture outfit made entirely from the plaid plastic bags one usually finds at dollar stores puts Zoolander’s “Derelicte” to shame.

Just when you thought the term “recycled clothing” had lost its cache, along comes a collaboration full of inspiration. Recently, designer and conceptual artist Jenny Lai of NOT Clothing, searching for something fresh to inform her newest work, made the pilgrimage to Johannesburg, South Africa, where she synced up with photographer and filmmaker Chris Saunders, whose fascinating documentation of South African subculture had caught her eye. This past September, the two unveiled their fused passions with an exhibit, “NOT x Chris Saunders,” at the WALLPLAY international space. The show brought together photography, video, fashion, and global culture in a colorful melange, equal parts street style documentation, art project, and reuse initiative. As Lai mentioned to Collectively this week, the inventive textiles used were the result of various shooting locations throughout the city and the creatives who inspired them. “The materials that we used were based on the collaborative artists,” said Lai. “Many of them do use what is available to them.” In this case, the surroundings were a busy Jo’burg neighborhood, a bottle recycling plant, and other unlikely spots, the group using found materials like chicken wire, brown paper bags, and floor sweepings from local barbershops to help create clothing and installations.

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