GoLite Is Turning Empty Bottles into Jackets
The brand is rethinking how green plastic bottles are recycled
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In May, we wrote about the revival of the famed ultralight backpacking company GoLite. The brand, which Taiwan-based holding company EGI Ltd. bought in 2015, has pivoted to focus on the active-lifestyle market, pursuing category leaders like Outdoor Voices and Lululemon.
At Winter Outdoor Retailer, we got the first look at GoLite’s new line of products. Most interesting is the ReGreen Windshell ($100), which is made completely from recycled bottles and combines technical innovation with the brand’s sustainability focus. The inspiration behind the jacket happened after GoLite partnered with the Taiwanese recycling plant Tzu Chi. Officials at the plant told GoLite that green bottles (think of those used by Mountain Dew and Sprite) often aren’t recycled; because they’re already green, they can’t be dyed and therefore aren’t of interest to manufacturers who want to color the resulting fabric whatever shade they like. To get around that, GoLite skips the dying process altogether, instead harnessing the bottles’ green coloring, leading to a more eco-friendly, cheaper product. Twenty bottles go into each ReGreen Windshell, which weighs just 1.6 ounces.
We’ll be putting the jacket through its paces before the spring 2019 launch to see if the green hype is real. If anything, we like the color.