At last! Put your plastic bottle tops to good use.

Filed in Blog by on September 9, 2008 29 Comments
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denim dress made from recycled material by Gary HarveyKristal now has enough bottle tops, so there is no need to send anymore – thank you to everyone who supported her!
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned we might have an innovative way for you to rid yourselves of some of your rubbish. And here is it!

Today I have a great story to share with you. It’s a real heart warmer and will leave us all feeling warm and fuzzy in the knowledge that we can do something to help.

I was contacted by an A-level student called Kristal who is doing a textiles project. Last year she created soft furnishings for her sixth form common room. This year she wants to make the emphasis of her project on sustainable fashion!

Inspired by Gary Harvey, who for nearly ten years was the Creative Director of Levi Strauss and Dockers Europe, Kristal is going to make a dress out of waste products.

Gary Harvey began designing his dresses out of creative frustration during his freelance work on fashion campaigns. His first dramatic piece evolved using 42 pairs of Levi’s 501’s.

Since that time his passion for creating recycled couture has taken over, and he’s produced a stunning design using 18 Burberry macs, a fishtail corset dress using 28 camouflage Army jackets, and a body-contouring gown using discarded baseball jackets. Gary’s latest creation is the newspaper dress, made from 30 copies of the Financial Times.

As part of her project, Kristal has been in touch with a bridal wear designer to see how to structure such a dress (it’s amazing how her choice of materials might be) and is intending to use milk bottle tops, jar tops, bottle tops and can rings to make her creation.newspaper dress made from recycled materials by Gary Harvey

This, dear readers is where you come in! There are only so many of these that her parent’s work colleagues, family and friends can collect!

So we are reaching out to you to help Kristal’s project by sending in your ‘waste’ items for her dress.

Kristal wants to make a bold statement to show that recycling is fashionable. She feels there are many advertising campaigns for the food industry, but not enough for the textile industry and she wants to help make a difference.

Kristal’s belief is that people do not have enough KNOWLEDGE of recycling, it’s not that they don’t want to do it and she wants to help change this if she can.

It’s a worthy cause, don’t you think?

So come on, let’s gather together and help Kristal out. Send your washed milk bottle tops, jar tops, bottle tops and can rings to:

Removed, as no more are needed – thanks to everyone who sent in!

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (29)

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  1. Hi Mrs Green,

    A fantastic use of a “worthless” item. I have a bag of these, also aerosol plastic caps, coffee jar lids. Are these all included?

  2. Mrs Green says:

    Hi John, I’m glad you like the idea and how wonderful that you already have something to contribute.
    I’ll find out for sure and let you know. I’m hoping Kristal will make her way over here and can answer any queries, but I think her internet access might be limited.

  3. Kris says:

    That’s perfect for me – the bottle tops are stacking up at a rate that’s a bit slow for sending off to the south for recycling with other plastics. I can get rid of them much sooner to Kristal 🙂

  4. Hi Mrs Green,

    I see just Gai is taking up the challenge in the Bristol area. It is great to see another family follow your excellent example. Mrs A is already in contact but I know that your approach will be very helpful there as well.

    It just shows that the good word is spreading.

  5. What a fabulous idea. I might have to save some up ;-D

  6. Mrs Green says:

    Kristal will be over later – she cannot leave comments on the school computer, but should be here when she’s at home to answer any queries people have.

    In answer to your question John, Kristal tells me that any tops would be great! So that’s good news 🙂

  7. Kristal says:

    Hi everyone it’s Kristal, any tops will be great!
    Glad you think it’s a good idea!

  8. Hi Mrs Green,

    Kristal is a star using this material.

    Going back to the India story, I think we knew in, our heart of hearts, that recycling is imperfect. I looked at the Mail comments, guess what? One poster defended plastic bags! They will not miss an opportunity, however misguided they are.

    We have to just keep on, looking at the positives. The current Council/Zero Waste enthusiast combination is a winner. Let the doubters chew on that fact.

  9. Mrs Green says:

    Hey Kristal – great to see you 🙂 Another lady contacted me today asking what she could do with milk bottle tops, so I sent her details of your project.
    How are things going? I hope you will give us juicy updates with your creation 🙂

    Mrs A – it makes me want to go out and buy things I wouldn’t normally buy just to support the cause!

    Hi John, a positive outlook is the way forward and there are enough of us wishing for the same outcome, so let’s see what happens. With people like Kristal so inspired to make a difference; how can we fail?

  10. Kristal says:

    Hey, thanks 🙂 Oh great, sounds like people are very interested in the projects, which is great! (Y)

    I’m in the process of doing the folder work for the project at the moment, Iv gone back to school this week so have ben updating my Textiles teacher with where I am at and what’s going on. I will let you know how I am getting on and when I begin making the dress and so on!

  11. Mrs Green says:

    I think people are very interested, Kristal – we have some amazing people who come to our site; full of support and enthusiasm for genuine people such as yourself.

    Is your textiles teacher suitably impressed with your work so far? You have done such a lot from when I read through the information you sent me; it’s been a really thorough project and I’ve learned a lot too!

    I bet you can’t wait to get on and start making the dress and we can’t wait to see it………..

  12. Mrs Green says:

    Kris, I meant to say – you can drop them off too if you like, to save on postage.

  13. Sue says:

    Hi Rae and Kristal,
    this is a great idea, I will be saving mine for you. I don’t suppose you are at Newent or Ribston? In which case my children could take them directly to school!
    Well done, I look forward to seeing how you get on!

  14. Kris says:

    Nice to see you here in the pink Kristal 😀

    Thank you for the offer Rae, though I’m not sure I will often have a good reason for being in your immediate area. Though there is that potential trip to that nice craft and delicatessan place…

  15. Kristal says:

    Hi sue, I go to Ribston school, so that would be great 🙂 Thanks for the help!

  16. joan isaac says:

    How fantastic! Good old Janey Lee Grace for spreading the word! I have a large bag of plastic tops – originally collected for someone wanting a new wheelchair – which I never really learned was real or not. Anyway I carried on collecting them and will be so happy to send them on to Kristal. I hope I can find some recycled packaging! Good luck to the Green family!

  17. Mrs Green says:

    Kris, sorry, I meant you could drop them off at Shire Hall 😀 I had it in my mind you lived near Gloucester; perhaps I’m wrong.

    Hi Joan, welcome to the site and thank you for telling us where you heard about us – we’re always curious. Janey Lee Grace did indeed give us fantastic coverage on her site and in her September newsletter which we were delighted about. it’s great to have the support of other ‘like-minded’ people spreading the word.
    I’m glad we’ve found a good home for all those tops you’ve been collecting!

  18. Hi Mrs Green,

    Posted a load of various tops to Kristal today, parting is such sweet sorry! I also have aluminium combination waste and eggshell collections. If Kristal could work her magic with these, that would be fab.

  19. Hi Mrs Green,

    Further detail on combination waste : medicine bubble strips, milk and sauce bottle seals, commodity and crisp bags and sweet wrappers.

  20. Mrs Green says:

    Ooo, Kristal, there you go – medicine bubble strips, bottle seals, crisp bags and sweet wrappers; do you fancy those in your dress? Maybe a handbag for a later project 😉

  21. Kristal says:

    Hi John, Thanks for the stuff that has been sent so far though! It all sounds great, But it is not really what I am looking for, I am just focusing on bottle tops, jar lids, can rings that sort of thing. Thank you anyway, hope u can find another use for them 🙂

  22. Hi Kristal,

    That is fine. how long do you plan receiving the plastic lids? Is there a cut-off date or amount? We all could supply these indefinitely.

  23. Kristal says:

    Umm well, I am not sure how many the council have at the moment, as I am awaiting them to send them on to me. There will be a cut-off sort of amount, I am not sure yet but it sounds like a lot of people are collecting them so I will need to let people know soon really!

  24. Mrs Green says:

    Kristal now has ENOUGH BOTTLE TOPS, so please don’t send any more! Thank you to everyone who supported Kristal with her project.

  25. Kristal says:

    I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who sent bottle tops, you have all been a great help. I was amazed by how quick everyone was able to collect them, and the support which I have received with the project. I will make sure that I send photos and update you all on how I am doing. You will be able to see the good use your tops have gone too 🙂
    Thanks again Kristal

  26. Hi Kristal,

    I am glad you received them quickly. If you can make a career out of them the supply would be limitless.

  27. Mrs Green says:

    Thank you Kristal – I’m delighted to hear that you had so much support for your project and now the fun begins with the creation of your dress. Have fun and be sure to update us.

    John – imagine that; free supply – it feels like something is there for an entrepreneur doesn’t there?!

  28. Hi Mrs Green,

    Kristal is still in education with the prospect of further courses in textiles, design etc. With her recent experience in “recycling” textiles, she could develop her ideas, practices into new types of production. That could be a future career opportunity (Zero Waste Textiles).

  29. Kristal says:

    I am looking to do fashion/textile design and management at university next year, so the project I am doing will be a great aid in this I believe. If it is all sucessful. 🙂

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