Tracy Reese uses old water bottles for new closed-loop capsule collection

Tracy Reese has collaborated with artist Mel Chin on a small capsule collection called Flint Fits. The pieces are made of fabric manufactured from old plastic water bottles, inspired by the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.


The collection is currently not available for purchase - Tracy Reese

The apparel design juxtaposes stiff and durable khaki-colored twill separates with aquatic inspired cerulean swim jersey. Textiles for the collection were made by North Carolina-based sustainable manufacturer Unifi.

After the materials were spun into textiles, they were sent back to Michigan to be sewn into garments at the St. Luke N.E.W. Life Center in Flint.

Reese explained in a statement, "For me, the design process always starts with textiles, so designing... from the Flint water bottles was central to the concept."

"The twill fabric is perfect for rainwear and is perfect as protection from the elements. It's sturdiness and industrial appeal also recall Flint's manufacturing background," she added.

While the collection is not currently being offered for sale, Reese hopes the manufacturing process will soon be commercially profitable. Other brands using old water bottles for new textiles include Nike, which uses recycled water bottles in its performance tights, and Patagonia, which recycles plastic water bottles into insulating fleece.

Reese's capsule is on display at the Queens Museum. It is part of a 70-piece exhibit by Chin called All Over the Place, which is designed to raise awareness around issues of social consequence.

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