Patagonia used 10,000,000 plastic bottles to make its new Black Hole bags

The iconic brand is on a mission to go 100% recycled

by Chad Shmukler

Did you know that the clothing industry pumps more carbon into the air—roughly 1.2 billion tons—than all international airplane flights combined? The creation of materials used throughout the clothing and apparel industry, whether natural or synthetic, is a carbon-intensive process, and one most often powered by coal-fired power plants. Using recycled materials can prevent an enormous amount of carbon from ending up in the atmosphere. And that’s why Patagonia is on a mission to completely eliminate virgin materials from its manufacturing.

If reaching their goal of using 100% recycled materials sounds like pie-in-the-sky snowflake stuff, consider that, as of this year, Patagonia has already made it to 69%—leading the charge on the use of recycled synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon, as well as natural fibers like cotton, wool and down.

Sadly, the industry average is a paltry 13%. But Patagonia wants that to change. According to the brand, if the clothing industry as a whole recycled at the same rate as Patagonia, the atmosphere could be spared the same amount of carbon emissions that would be generated powering every household in the state of California for an entire year.

The latest in Patagonia’s recycling mission is its new line of its revered Black Hole bags. The new Black Hole line of bags have body fabric and webbing that are now made with 100% recycled materials—mostly plastic bottles.

According to Patagonia, 10 million plastic bottles went into this year’s lineup of bags—which includes everything from the latest version of the venerable Black Hole duffels, backpacks and rolling luggage to ultralights, waist packs, cubes, totes and even mini-hip packs (read: fanny packs).

On top of using 100% recycled body fabric, Patagonia’s Black Hole bags are also made in Vietnam at a factory that produces zero wastewater. The facility treats all of the wastewater from their manufacturing onsite and uses it to water trees around the factory—eliminating wastewater pollution in nearby rivers and stream while recycling that water into the natural environment around the factory.

To see the entire lineup of new Black Hole bags, visit Patagonia.