From plastic bottle to raincoat to plastic bottle again.
That's the life cycle one Nova Scotia fashion designer envisions for her line of children's outerwear made entirely from recycled plastic bottles.
Tabitha Osler's company, Faire Child, is set to manufacture waterproof raincoats, anoraks, rainpants, coveralls, backpacks and caps for children ages 3 to 10 made out of old polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles that are woven into a new polyester fabric.
When they get worn out, the idea is for customers to return the clothing to the company so that it can be recycled into a new product. Osler said she's offering people a 15 per cent discount on their next purchase as incentive to return the clothing.
"We have to actively recycle it," she told the CBC's Information Morning, "otherwise what's the point in having a recyclable coat out there if it's just going to … end up in a landfill?"
The city of Halifax does not currently offer curbside recycling for textiles. As a result, textiles make up 8.6 per cent of the waste sent to the Otter Lake landfill, at a cost of $475,000 each year.
Other cities in Canada are making some headway, including the Municipality of Colchester, N.S., which began curbside collection for clean and dry textiles in April 2016.
The idea behind Faire Child is to have a "positive impact" on the planet "through fashion," said Osler, who has spent the last 10 years studying and teaching fashion design with a focus on environmental and social responsibility.