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Plastic? Fantastic!

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 re-use plastic that would otherwise end up in landfill. [caption id="attachment_18017" align="alignleft" width="300"]Adnams Nor-folk tee Picture by @Nor-folk[/caption] Operating our business responsibly and sustainably makes sense. It helps ensure that Adnams and its suppliers are resilient to change so that we are still operating in years to come. Through this, we find many opportunities for innovation, which we like to share with you. Recently, the opportunity arose to redesign our t-shirts, which gave us the chance to create a better t-shirt that reflects Adnams' sustainable and ethical values. 2017 sees the first item to arrive in Adnams' sustainable clothing project with a 60% cotton and 40% recycled polyester mix t-shirt. Rather than use new polyester from virgin crude oil, we’ve cut it out entirely and converted waste plastic like PET bottles and turned it into polyester fibre. With this one change we’ve reduced water consumption, reduced waste and diverted it away from 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. We've sourced the most suitable cotton after considering many criteria but are, of course, constantly looking for improvements in our raw materials and processes - in just the same way that this new t-shirt is an improvement on those that have come before it, future versions will be better still.


Beer is a thirsty product to make (we're still working hard on reducing our beer to water ratio), but did you know that whilst a bottle of beer uses around 25 litres to make in its lifecycle, one average cotton t-shirt uses a staggering 2,700 litres*. We’ve light weighted our t-shirts, much like our glass bottles, by replacing 40% of the cotton with recycled polyester. By doing so, we’ve reduced the t-shirt's water consumption to an estimated 900 litres, saving 1,800 litres per t-shirt, equivalent to 7.2 million litres a year.


We’re a big fan of recycling, upcycling, any type of cycling really! By taking waste plastic, like plastic bottles, and recycling it into polyester fibre we’ve reduced the total amount of waste and diverted more away from landfill. One way we've done this is by upcycling waste cotton from the manufacturing process into t-shirt labels. The factories which our clothing supplier, Mantis World, use all also have effluent treatment plants to ensure that no untreated wastewater is returned to the environment.

Carbon Footprint

As with most materials, recycling it back into the same material (closed loop recycling) emits less carbon emissions than from using virgin sources. Recycled polyester fibre is no different, meaning we've seen a 45% reduction in carbon versus using polyester made from virgin crude oil. In addition, we’ve centralised the production of nearly all aspects of the t-shirt, bags and tags, 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. In fact, Mantis World became our Supplier of the Year at our inaugural Supplier Awards last year. All the factories they use in making 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. You can zoom in and click on the icons to follow the 11,500 mile journey that our t-shirts make from Madhya Pradesh, India, to Adnams in Southwold. This is the first part of our sustainable clothing adventure and we look forward to letting you know about the exciting developments we're working on in the future. The new t-shirts are now available in ‘Big A’ (£12.99) in Adnams stores or via our online store with free delivery. A new Ghost Ship t-shirt will be coming soon - we'll keep you posted! •Source: Ecological Footprinting and Water Analysis of Cotton, Hemp and Polyester, SEI  

Some fun facts for your pub quiz!

Did you know, the average 100% cotton T-shirt weighs 250g, whilst our recycled plastic t-shirts weigh just 150g. Did you know, making an aluminium can from recycled aluminium, as opposed to virgin aluminium, uses 95% less energy and emits 97% fewer greenhouse gases. That's why we ensure our can suppliers use at least 90% recycled aluminium.