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Plastic? Fantastic! Building a better T-Shirt...

By Adam, also posted in News on

Now you can buy t-shirts made with recycled plastic. It sounds a bit bizarre, but it's a great way to use polyester that would otherwise end up in landfill. [caption id="attachment_18017" align="alignleft" width="300"]Adnams Nor-folk tee Picture by @Nor-folk[/caption] Adnams take its efforts in ‘Doing the Right Thing’ seriously, so when the opportunity arose to redesign our T-shirts we asked ourselves why not do it right and build a better t-shirt that reflects Adnams' sustainable and ethical values. 2017 brings version 1.0 of Adnams' sustainable clothing project with 60% cotton and 40% recycled polyester. Rather than use new polyester from virgin crude oil, we’ve cut it out entirely and converted refuse plastic like PET bottles and turned into polyester fibre. With this one change we’ve reduced water consumption, reduced waste and waste to landfill, removed the use of primary fossil fuels, reduced the carbon footprint and, as with all Adnams clothing, ensured fair pay and safe working conditions to employees in the supply chain.


Beer is a thirsty product to make, but did you know that while we use less than three pints of water to make a pint of beer that one average cotton T-shirt has used a staggering 2,700 litres… We’ve light weighted our T-shirts, much like our glass bottles, and replaced 40% of the cotton with recycled polyester. By doing so, we’ve brought down the T-shirt's water consumption to 900 litres, saving 1,900 litres against the average, and by 7.2 million litres a year.


We’re a big fan of recycling, upcycling, any type of cycling really! and by taking waste plastic like plastic bottles and recycling it into polyester fibre we’ve reduced wastage and waste to landfill. The factories used all have effluent treatment plants to ensure that no harmful waste enters the environment and we’ve also upcycled waste cotton and turned it into the card for our labels.

Carbon Footprint

As with most materials, recycled components emit less carbon emissions than those from virgin sources, with recycled polyester fibre there is a 45% reduction versus polyester from virgin crude oil. In addition, we’ve centralised the production of nearly all aspects of the T-shirt, bags and tags included, to a single region of India thereby reducing carbon emissions from transportation.

Employee pay & safety

Adnams has worked with Mantis World for a long time and we’ve done so because they understand the human impact of clothing. All the factories used in making all our clothing, both new and old, have been regularly checked for employee pay and safety whether they originate in the UK, India, China or elsewhere. If you want to find out more about our new T-shirts check out the traceability map below (be sure to zoom in and click on the icons) to follow our T-shirts from Madhya Pradesh and their journey of 11,500 miles to Adnams in Southwold. We’re not done with sustainable clothing and we look forward to informing you of all the exciting developments we have to come. The new T-shirts are available in ‘Big A’ (£12.99) and Ghost Ship ‘Icon’ (coming soon) designs, order online now with free delivery.