New Life for Grundies
Patagonia, the outdoor clothing manufacturer, has launched a new campaign to recycle old polyester underwear -- a petroleum product, in case you didn't know. In order to use less of the fossil-based fiber, the Ventura, California-based company is now asking customers to return old, worn-out Capilene base layers (only the really ragged and tattered stuff, please). Those will be sent to a factory in Japan where the fabric is broken down to the molecular level and purified (good thing, that) before being re-polymerized and resurrected as spanking new undies. Even taking transportation into account, Patagonia says it's a good deal for the environment.
And while we're on the subject, it seems that U.S. hosiery manufacturers are launching a line of biodegradable corn-based socks in Japan. According to this item, the initiative is "backed by the U.S. Grains Council, which aims to bolster demand for U.S. corn by creating new markets." Of course, the corn glut in America is dependent on petroleum-based fertilizers, so the product may not be as earth-friendly as it purports to be. Now, give us organically grown corn-based socks and you're talking.