« Back to Home Page

Sign up for the 3p daily dispatch:

Polyester Suit 2.0: Sears to Serve Up Soda Bottle Formal Wear

Mary Catherine O'Connor | Tuesday April 14th, 2009 | 9 Comments

sears_suit.jpgNext month, Sears will begin selling men’s suits made of fabric that is derived, in part, from plastic soda bottles. An Isreali contract clothing manufacturer, Bagir Group Ltd., is making the garments for Sears’ private label Covington Perfect brand. The fabric, dubbed Ecopet, contains recycled PET plastic blended with wool, viscose and cotton or with other synthetics, according to Reuters, and is produced by Teijin, a Japanese chemical company.
To weave enough of the fabric to produce one suit, Teijin says it uses 25 plastic soda bottles (2-liter size) but no additional oil. But what is most likely to really attract shoppers is the fabric’s feel, its price and its care label. According to the producer, the suits, which are styled in a classic look, don’t have the heavy, plasticy hand of the polyester suits of yore (read: leisure suits). And at $250 for a full suit, the line is competitively priced. But because it’s machine washable, there are additional savings over the life of the suit, compared to suits that must be dry-cleaned (a process without a great environmental profile).

Sears is rolling out the product at 500 of its stores, based on positive customer reaction to sample-testing the suits it Boston, Chicago, and New York-area stores.
Repurposing PET into a fabric is nothing new (bottles are used in everything from laptop cases to high-end shell jackets from Patagonia). The hotel chain Wyndham Hotels and Resorts even issues uniforms to its employees that contain recycled plastic material.
But what makes this line of suits unique is its attractive price-point and the fact that Sears is will be introducing this environmentally-friendly clothing option to a mainstream consumers, rather than those who frequent high-end specialty shops that have been the biggest purveyors of these types of products in the past.
If Sears embraces this Ecopet and its ilk of fabrics, its biggest competitors (JCPenny and Kmart spring to mind) are likely to as well.


Newsletter Signup
  • Jen Boynton

    nice post. Love the title!

  • Niobe Lathis

    Thats excellent. I wonder if it feels like fleece – that can be made from soda bottles too!

  • Jen Boynton

    mmm fleece suit. Like going to work in your pajamas!

  • Joan Friedlander

    I like the idea. I wonder if there’s any downside to wearing “plastic” close to the body. Any research?

  • http://theecodiva.blogspot.com Elena

    nice to see a big box store getting the message. I hope to see LOTS more.

  • http://www.eurotailors.com andrea

    it way seem like a good idea for the environtmentally concious, but good quality formalwear should always be from natural fabrics

  • sensups

    As far as I can tell, most men do not have much difficulty in wearing suits. Remember that a personal sense of style helps a lot.

  • sensups

    As far as I can tell, most men do not have much difficulty in wearing suits. Remember that a personal sense of style helps a lot.

  • http://www.upscaledeals.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=U&Screen=SRCH&Search=Pal+Zileri+Shirt Pal Zileri Shirt

    I really like the tie. I have a suit that will go great with that. Where can I buy one?