Technical details
Open Accordion
Size + fit
Open Accordion

Fit guide: The Garbage T Shirt has a regular fit.

Model wears: Skier, surfer and mountain biker Niko Ohlsson is 5ft 11 / 180cm with a 38in / 97cm chest and a 32in / 81cm waist. Niko has an athletic build and is wearing the Garbage T Shirt in size Medium.

Personalised advice: See our size guide for more advice on sizing, or you can ask us for personalised sizing advice here.

Returns and exchanges: Don’t worry if you order something and it doesn’t fit – we have a free, no hassle 30 day return and exchange period.

Fits chest83-9091-9899-106107-114115-122123-130
Fits waist71-7676-8181-8686-9191-9696-101
Fits chest33-3636-3939-4242-4545-4848-51
Fits waist28-3030-3232-3434-3636-3838-40
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Garbage T Shirt

Where the future of clothing is going

There are three ways to tackle sustainable clothing. You can use advances in material technology to make clothes with a longer life expectancy than the people wearing them. You can go back to using nature to make clothes that require as little energy as possible and leave no trace of their existence at the end of their lives. Or you can start digging into waste streams to use the stuff people have already generated and discarded. With our 100 Year range, our Algae range, and our Garbage range, we’re now tackling all three routes at the same time.

Garbage Sweater

Landfill can become a source of raw materials

Around 100 billion new pieces of clothing are made each year. And by 2050 that number is likely to double. At the same time over 150 tons of clothing are dumped in landfill every minute. So if we want to change that we need to start figuring out how to make new clothes from the stuff we already have. While lots of the materials we work with start life in a cutting-edge lab or out in nature, the Garbage T Shirt comes from a huge pile of trash.

Garbage T Shirt

The next step in our Garbage range

In 2021 we launched the Garbage Sweater, the first piece of clothing in our Garbage range. Built from old bulletproof vests and firefighter suits, the sweater was a first step in exploring how we can re-use some of the toughest and most challenging materials in the trash, para-aramid and meta-aramid. For the Garbage T Shirt we’ve gone for a different approach and worked with the most common materials the world throws away. Because if waste streams are going to become a viable source of raw materials, then we have to tackle the biggest ones too.

Garbage T Shirt

Half the t shirt is made from recycled cotton

Around 75% of the world’s clothing contains cotton. And even though cotton biodegrades, it’s also one of the most commonly found materials in landfill, as only a fraction of today’s clothes get recycled. So we intercept cotton that was headed to the dump and use it to build half of the Garbage T Shirt.

Garbage T Shirt

Four plastic bottles go into each t shirt

To make the other half of the Garbage T Shirt we combine recycled cotton with recycled polyester. Around 60% of all clothing in the world is made with synthetic fibre. And the majority of that is polyester. Unlike cotton it doesn’t biodegrade as it’s a plastic. Which means that once it ends up in landfill it can take centuries to break down. So rather than creating new plastics to create new clothes, we re-use plastic that already exists, by extracting it from old plastic bottles.

Garbage T Shirt

Wear it like a regular t shirt

While the Garbage T Shirt is made up of plastics and other bits of trash, it feels just as soft and comfortable as a normal cotton t shirt. The only noticeable difference compared to a regular t shirt is its speckled pattern. Lots of the materials that we’ve shredded and re-used were dyed in their previous lives, and it’s these leftover fragments of dye that show up as hundreds of tiny coloured dots.

Garbage T Shirt

How we make fabric out of garbage

The process for recycling cotton starts off with piles of old clothes – everything from t shirts and sweaters, to hoodies and jeans. These piles are then cut into smaller pieces, before being cleaned, shredded and turned into new fibre. The plastic bottles we use go through a similar mechanical process to create recycled polyester. Bales of crushed PET bottles are shredded and cleaned to make tiny flakes which are melted, spun and pulled through a machine to produce polyester fibres. The polyester and cotton fibres are then spun together into yarn which is finally knitted to create fabric.

Garbage T Shirt

Recycling these materials isn’t easy

You’d think it would be cheaper and quicker to make new clothes out of old clothes, but it really isn’t. It’s generally more difficult and more expensive to recycle materials than to create new ones. Partly because there are more steps involved, but also because the infrastructure around recycling is still in its early stages. So we make the Garbage T Shirt with a partner that’s been turning waste into yarn since 1947, long before it was a fashionable thing to do. They’ve spent more than 70 years perfecting the process of transforming unwanted materials into high quality recycled fibres.

Garbage T Shirt

The last 3% of the t shirt is unknown

The complexities of recycling mean it’s currently incredibly difficult to completely separate materials which have been gathered from the trash. So while we can say for sure that 50% of the t shirt’s material is recycled cotton, and that 47% is from plastic bottles, we can’t say what the remaining 3% is. All we know is that it was something that someone once threw away.

Garbage T Shirt

OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 approved

When you’re working with waste streams it’s critical that you know they’ve been produced without the use of harmful substances. So the material we use is OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 approved – which is a method for certifying that the materials used in the t shirt are non-toxic and safe to wear.

Garbage T Shirt

The environmental footprint of the material

We’re also able to measure the environmental impact of the Garbage T Shirt with a method called the Life Cycle Assessment, which assesses factors like raw material extraction, manufacturing, processing and transportation. On average the material used to construct one Garbage T Shirt saves 1300 litres of water from being used – compared to a new t shirt. And it prevents 2kg of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere. Which is equivalent to burning just under a litre of fuel.

Garbage Sweater

Designed to be worn with the Garbage Sweater

If you’d like to double up on the amount of garbage you’re wearing, then you can either get both colours of the t shirt, or wear it under the Garbage Sweater. Built from old bulletproof vests and firefighter suits that were destined for landfill, it’s a warm, soft and fire-resistant sweater that works well in cold conditions.

Garbage T Shirt

Our Garbage range follows in the footsteps of Rambo

40 years ago Sylvester Stallone was freezing his butt off during a bitter Canadian winter on the set of Rambo First Blood. So when he spotted a derelict truck with a piece of rotting canvas stuck underneath it, he yanked the canvas out, cut a hole in it with his knife, pulled it over his head to keep himself warm, and accidentally created one of the most iconic outfits in cinema history. It shows how easily our perception of what is and isn’t garbage can be altered.

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