Plastex: Textiles Created with Recycled Plastic Bags

plastex textiles

Do you have a wad of plastic grocery bags hanging out in your kitchen somewhere? We know we do- it seems wasteful to just throw them out, but we seem to bring home way too many to reuse. The designers at Cairo-based Reform Studio took notice of all this waste and came up with an innovative solution: turn the bags into fabric!

According to Reform, the average use of a plastic bag is a mere 12 minutes. It’s ironic that an object we use for such a short time is made from a material that takes an eternity to biodegrade.

So, rather than using typical fibers found in textiles such as cotton, the Reform team created a durable, eco-friendly fabric using recycled plastic bags as the raw material.

The resulting textile is aptly named Plastex.

plastex

 

While fashion and fabric industries have become more saturated with sustainable materials in recent years, this particular fabric is a standout in many ways.

When we as designers consider recycled material, there can be some hesitation- will quality or aesthetic be compromised in using something not brand-new? Not necessarily. Plastex is highly durable, and washable as well. Additionally, plastic bags come in a wide variety of colors, which means Plastex does too.

The designers at Reform have put together a vibrant, contemporary palette for their fabrics. These textiles also come in a variety of woven patterns- including a faux “zebra” look.

plastex

In addition to the unique recycled “fiber,” Plastex fabric is woven using a traditional Egyptian handloom. This production method is both eco-friendly and an awesome way to bring a contemporary, relevant touch to an aging textile technique.

“Slow” techniques such as hand weaving make fabrics that much more special, as each piece is guaranteed to be unique.

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Jessica Bucci

Jessica has been trained in a wide variety of textile and fiber processes, traditional as well as computer-aided, which she uses in both her design and sculptural work. Jessica has also served as a teaching assistant for beginning weavers and drawers.

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