By Minimal Wanders.
The notion that plastic bottles can take up to 1000 years to completely degrade shouldn’t be news by now. Not only that, but bottles made from PET will never actually biodegrade. Over time, they decompose into smaller particles called microplastics, which are even more problematic for our ocean and aquatic life than the original bottle.
Microplastics are small pieces of plastic (less than five millimetres big) which often end up as debris in the environment. Sadly, they are often mistaken for food by aquatic life and birds, making it into our food chain and clogging the stomachs and air ducts of wildlife.
As a nature lover, this thought of innocent fish, that eat man-made products unknowingly, is very disturbing. For years, we travelled around the world and could really see for ourselves that the plastic problem is everywhere. And although the focus must certainly be on not producing it in the first place, we couldn’t help but wonder – what do we do with all the plastic that’s already there?
The answer came along our journey. Anyone who has ever travelled with a backpack knows how important it is to pack light. For years, we fantasized about the perfect items that could fit in our backpacks and be flexible, durable and equally perfect for a beach session or an evening visit to a vibrant street market. This was the original inspiration for our project, and to this day, we keep travellers and the ocean in mind in every decision we make.
This is the story behind Minimal Wanders.
Today, we are excited to be launching our first adventure: 100% recycled t-shirts made from cotton scraps and plastic bottles. We have a commitment to repurpose old fabrics and avoid creating new ones, making sure we take some garbage away every time we create a piece. For us, each t-shirt is an act of kindness to the planet we live in.
This is also an opportunity for us to educate on the idea that we are responsible for reducing the microplastics that we release from our homes. From discussing microbeads alternatives to encouraging people to use a bag to wash their synthetic fibres, we want to be a channel to share practical information and tips on how to do things a little bit better. We aren’t perfect and don’t expect everyone to be, but we want to open a positive conversation and involve as many people as possible. We think small gestures over time can have a huge impact!
We also make sure that the people working in our factories do so in a healthy and safe environment. We are proud to have teamed up with a group of pioneers who truly care about the environment, sustainability and the people that make everything possible. The post-consumer bottles we use to create our t-shirts are collected locally by designated villages, ensuring a stable income for many families.
To make all this possible, we currently have a crowdfunding campaign open, where you can pledge to be part of our story. We think of this as just the beginning, and we want to keep researching ways to make sustainability cool and practical for everyone.
Behind this project there’s us, Marina and Carlos, two engineers passionate about sustainability, living simply and finding practical ways in our everyday lives to reduce our footprint. We want to leave this planet a little bit better than we found it when we got here!
If you are curious and want to check out what we are up to, make sure to follow us on Instagram to stay up to date with our latest initiatives. Also make sure to visit our crowdfunding campaign site and share it with your friends and colleagues to help us make this project a reality!
Our campaign: https://vkm.is/minimalist