US Student Recycles Plastic Waste to Make Cloth
Jackson Riegler, an economics
student of University of Michigan has collected plastic waste from the Great
Lakes and it is being turned into sustainable clothing.
The 19-year old student is the founder of the first company to sue 100% US plastic to produce clothes. The company named Oshki menas 'fresh'. His objective is to shift the fashion industry and help preserve the coast of Lake Michigan.
“I grew up by the shores of Lake Michigan in Muskegon and really wanted to do something to help preserve our water,” he said. “The Great Lakes are really special and tremendously important to Michigan and our country.” Riegler, who is studying economics at U-M, recently launched the 1:1 Tee—named with a specific mission in mind: to prevent the prediction that the seas will have more plastic than fish in the near future. According to a report by the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the ratio between fish and plastic in Earth’s waterways is predicted to be 1:1 by 2050.
Oshki has sold about 350 of the new t-shirts, available in light blue and navy, since they became available for purchase in early June.
“I’m overwhelmed by the sales and extremely happy,” Riegler said. “I was able to reach this number because I had the money on hand to do the upfront inventory.”
This capital—$9,000—came from optiMize, a U-M student-led organization that offers workshops, mentorship and funding for students to create self-directed projects that make a positive impact.