ByKimberly Button

Dec 29, 2014

Next time you toss a water bottle into a recycling bin, you might be surprised that you just made a fashion statement.

If Dirtball Fashion gets a hold of that bottle, it will soon be turned into a T-shirt, sweatshirt, socks or other clothing items from the eco fashion clothing store for men and women.

Dirtball Fashion creates a range of clothing, from jeans to jackets, that are made from recycled materials such as plastic bottles and recycled pre-consumer cotton. Even the clothes themselves are recyclable. When you’ve torn them up or you’re ready for a new style, send the clothes back to Dirtball Fashion and they’ll recycle them into new clothing, plus give you a discount on future purchases.
Dirtball zip-up hoodie jacket

The entirely closed-loop system of fashion is 100% Made in the USA. Click on many of the product lines on the website and you can see where each piece of the clothing was manufactured and assembled, from the buttons to the drawstrings. Most of the products are created within a 250-mile radius of the company’s headquarters in North Carolina, dramatically reducing the carbon footprint if would have taken to receive and send shipments from other domestic and international manufacturing locations.

So, how does Dirtball Fashion turn a plastic bottle into functional and stylish clothing for active adults? The bottles are washed and ground up into small shavings of plastic. Those plastic flakes are then melted and made into a polyester fiber that is almost identical to virgin polyester.


In fact, the company knows exactly how many recycled plastic bottles it takes to create individual types of clothing. Take, for example, “The 50,” a jacket which is made entirely from 50 recycled water bottles. The jacket was funded by a Kickstarter campaign in late 2014, a year after Dirtball Fashion’s Green Jean was funded through the same site.

Funding “The 50” jacket created 150 U.S. manufacturing jobs for three months to fulfill the orders, as well as saving about 3 gallons of crude oil by reusing water bottles from landfills.

Though two clothing styles have been funded through Kickstarter recently, the company actually got its start in 2008, when Joe Fox visited his parents in Hickory, NC. The town used to be a manufacturing center in its heyday, but with textile jobs moving overseas, the local mills were silent. Unemployment reached nearly 15% at one time, and Fox realized that it would be a bleak future for the area if something did not change.

The former professional race car driver who studied History with an emphasis on International Relations and the Cold War in college soon found himself creating an eco-friendly clothing company and creating textile jobs in the area.

By reusing plastic bottles, approximately 916,000 gallons of fresh water are conserved for every 100,000 T-shirts Dirtball Fashion creates. With more than 1 billion plastic bottles going to landfills in America each year, there is plenty of material available to create these eco-friendly, recyclable clothing pieces.

Images courtesy of Dirtball Fashion

By Kimberly Button

Kimberly Button is the author of The Everything Guide to a Healthy Home and the Editor-in-Chief of GetGreenBeWell , featuring modern, sane ideas for living a non-toxic life. A professional journalist for nearly two decades, Button has written for magazines such as Martha Stewart's Whole Living, American Airlines, AAA, Sierra, National Geographic Traveler, and Vegetarian Times. Visit for more information.