Costa Rica Ocean Trash Goes Vogue in New H&M Conscious Collection

Exclusive clothing collection by H&M is created from Bionic Yarn, made in part from plastic ocean trash collected on beaches in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica.

H&M Conscious Exclusive Collection 2017 uses bionic yarn, photo courtesy of H&M

H&M Conscious Exclusive Collection 2017 uses bionic yarn made from recycled plastic, photo courtesy of H&M.

Plastic ocean trash washing up on the beaches in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica is hitting high-fashion runways in the form of the new 2017 Conscious Exclusive Collection by famous clothing designer/retailer H&M. The new clothing line rolls out this month on April 20 in H&M’s online store and in 160 of their stores around the world.

H&M used Bionic Yarn – polyester made of recycled plastic shoreline waste – to create their special fabrics that are changing the world’s stigma about eco-minded clothing. Cofounded by Tyson Toussant, Bionic makes thread from plastic bottles, bags, containers, etc. that are recovered from waterways and shorelines around the world.

Unlike other plastic-based fabrics, Bionic Yarn is super soft and can adapt to almost anything you want to make, from denim jeans and jackets to cocktail dresses. For example, the poster piece in H&M’s Conscious Exclusive Collection 2017 is a sweeping blush-color evening gown with swirling ruffles and a billowing pleated skirt, created from bionic yarn made from 89 discarded plastic bottles.

H&M Conscious Exclusive Collection, photo courtesy of H&M

You won’t believe H&M’s Bionic Yarn dress worn by supermodel Natalia Vodianova is made from old plastic bottles, photo courtesy of H&M.

The environmental and recycling implications with Bionic Yarn are huge, since normally plastic that washes up on beaches is in too poor of quality for traditional recycling and ends up in landfills.

According to MarViva Foundation, 8 million tons of plastic end up in the oceans every year which comprises 80% of the trash in the world’s oceans.

Toussant of Bionic happened to be vacationing in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica last year, when he became inspired by the town’s recycling program, run by the local non-governmental organization Nicoya Peninsula Waterkeeper. He saw the amount of plastic waste generated by visiting tourists, along with plastic trash that washes up on Santa Teresa’s beautiful beaches from Pacific Ocean currents and storms. Toussant made the connection to collect plastic trash for his company’s Bionic thread, and donated a truck to help recover plastics and recyclable materials in Santa Teresa.

Santa Teresa Costa Rica

The beautiful coastline of Santa Teresa, Costa Rica.

Be Eco-Minded on Vacation in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

While enjoying the breathtaking beaches, beautiful jungle and lovely tropical climate of Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, tourists – like all travelers everywhere – leave behind a lot of trash and consume resources. This is completely normal. But in the case of small towns like Santa Teresa, which are dependent on tourism, the community has been forced to deal with the strain.

For instance, at the beginning of February this year, 2,623 pounds (1,190 kilos) of recyclable waste was collected in Santa Teresa during Nicoya Peninsula Waterkeeper’s monthly recycling campaign.

Hotel Tropico Latino in Santa Teresa Costa Rica

Eco-friendly Hotel Tropico Latino on the beach in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica.

Be eco-conscious when you travel on vacation in Santa Teresa. Properly dispose of your trash, recycle, be mindful of the resources you use, and stay at eco-friendly hotels like Hotel Tropico Latino. Voted No. 2 on TripAdvisor for hotels in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, Tropico Latino follows rigorous environmental practices in its daily hotel operations and helps in the recycling efforts in Santa Teresa.

Article by Shannon Farley

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