I know the calendar says summer, but I’m still in spring cleaning mode.

I’m trying to figure out what to do with a lot of plastic bags that I don’t want to throw out but can’t always find easy ways to recycle.

A multi-country research project thinks those bags might be useful to the fashion industry.


The team has found ways to turn polyethylene, a key ingredient in single-use plastic bags, into lightweight fabric.

That’s intriguing on its own, but they also say their polyethylene fabric has a smaller environmental footprint than traditional fabrics like cotton.

Their fabric could be washed in a quick cold cycle rather than using hot water for around an hour.

Adding color to this fabric is simpler – no need for big vats of chemicals – and of course when the clothes wear out the fabric can be melted down and reused.

Along with all that, this fabric would not absorb moisture the way most clothes do, which could keep the wearers more comfortable.

So I guess I’ll hang onto those bags in my garage for now, and maybe get myself a fancy full-length mirror.


Many of us spend a lot of our waking hours typing, but James Cook turns his typing into art.

He makes intricate drawings on a vintage typewriter, and he uses only the letter and number keys to do it, too.

Plastic Bags Could Be Recycled Into Wearable Fabrics, Says New Research (Designboom)

This Artist Draws Using Only Letters and Numbers on Old Typewriters (The Sifter)

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Photo by Stratman via Flickr/Creative Commons