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Fashion label recycles beer bottles into stylish jeans

Bill Chappell/ NPR

While there’s no shortage of environmentally-conscious fashion labels making more sustainable denim, Treehugger is reporting that New York designer Peter Heron and his I AM NOT A VIRGIN label have found a most unique method of creating jeans. Initially inspired by the “millions of tons” of denim scraps discarded in America alone, Heron began exploring making jeans from other recycled (hence non-virgin) materials. Using a process that breaks down glass into fine particle and eventually fiber, Heron makes a line of jeans that are 75 percent cotton, 25 percent brown beer bottles (the brown bottles create a sepia-tinged hue).

"A couple of facts,” Heron says on the company website. “It takes 1 million years for a single glass bottle to break down in landfill and if all jeans sold in the US alone were produced using our green technology, approximately 1,200,000 barrels of oil could be saved yearly.”

Like many a young visionary, Heron has taken to Kickstarter in order to finance his ambitious line, which also includes t-shirts made from recycled food trays, water bottles and even x-ray film. The project will only come to fruition of he’s able to generate at least $100,000 by the deadline of July 17 (at press time, donations were in the vicinity of $10,000, with less than two weeks to go). The goal is to eventually expand the line and create different lines made from green soda bottles, blue water bottles, and Heron’s original idea of using fabric scraps collected at manufacturing mills.

The beer bottle jeans don’t come cheap – they retail for $225. But if the project is funded, pledges as low $100 will score donators their very own pair.