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VENTURA : Patagonia Develops Jacket From Bottles

Patagonia Inc., a Ventura-based outdoor clothing company, is working with the world’s largest plastic-recycling company to turn soda bottles into fabric for outdoor jackets, the company says.

“This has not been done before,” said Michael Harrelson, a spokesman for Patagonia. “I think that the marketplace will be really excited about it.”

Patagonia will be ready to sell the new jacket late this summer, Harrelson said. The jacket will be made of 80% recycled plastic bottles and 20% polyester. It will cost $85, about the same as the company charges for its Synchilla jackets.

The double-sided fleece fabric will feel similar to Synchilla--a fluffy synthetic material developed by Patagonia--but is slightly more coarse, Harrelson said.

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The name of the fabric is DyerSport, and it is made from a fiber called Fortrel EcoSpun, said Karen Deniz, merchandise manager for Dyersburg Fabrics Inc. of Dyersburg, Tenn.

“The plastic bottles are broken down into little chips, and then it goes through a process where all the petroleum is taken out, and it’s broken down as far as it can be broken down and then it becomes a fiber,” Deniz said.

New Jersey-based Wellman Inc., a plastic-recycling company, provides the fiber and Dyersburg spins it into yarn, which is then knit into fabric.

Deniz said the fabric is available in 18 colors. One drawback is that most of the fiber comes from green plastic soda bottles, “so you can’t do pale colors or white,” she said. Wellman is working on providing the fabric company with fiber from clear bottles, she said.

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