Plastic hits the catwalk at London Fashion Week

Vin and Omi, a British sustainable and eco-contemporary luxury fashion label, have developed 11 eco-textiles, including wool-like fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles, showcasing the collection at London Fashion Week.

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VIN +OMI

The new range includes soft synthetic wool and textiles produced from salvaged plastics compiled from ocean and river clean-up projects.

"It all started when we made this t-shirt made from recycled plastic fabric," Omi told the BBCÂ’s Newsbeat programme.

"The bottles are turned into chips. They're melted and stretched, then turned into yarn that we can weave just like fabric."

VIN + OMI pioneered the processing of plastic collected from river and ocean clean-up projects into unique fashion rPET fabrics in 2011, having also developed unique chestnut and plant leathers.

VIN + OMI also fund a programme in Malaysia to product sustainable rubber which they use in their latex work and provide a village with employment.

The designer duo’s work has attracted some high-profile followers. Blondie’s Debbie Harry said: “Everyone wears clothes, it’s time we thought about where they came from. I supported VIN +OMI’s approach a thoughtful fashion.”

Jane Horrocks, Actress, added: “Fashion like all businesses, need to work hard to keep this planet going.”

Vin + Omi say they want people to think about the waste created by our clothes.

According to the charity Wrap, in 2016 1.13 million tonnes of clothing were bought in the UK , yet we only keep clothes for an average of three years.

Vin and Omi have now introduced a new way of recycling clothes they have previously made. Customers can return items they have bought in exchange for discount off the next piece of clothing they buy from the designers. The designers will then reuse the materials in future collections.

"It's not a very clever practice, because you're actually buying your own clothes back," added Omi.

"But the point is, it becomes circular. We're making money again by selling new designs."

Vin + Omi are also part of the British Fashion CouncilÂ’s Positive Fashion platform which encourages future business decisions to create global change.

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This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement Nº 737882.

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