Bread & Butter Berlin: Recycling Shirts From Americans...Because They Are "Physically More Structured"*


Bag from Hell's Kitchen's Fall 2010 collection. Photo copyright Mairi Beautyman

Oh snap! It's the kick-to-the-(flabby)-stomach truth: Americans are fatter, and Europeans know it. You can't hide the tub: According to USA Today, 65 percent of adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese -- compared to 30 percent in Europe.

Yesterday while I was continuing my hunt for the latest and greatest green gear coming out of Bread & Butter (Winter collection 2010), Italian firm Hell's Kitchen frankly told me it sources plaid shirts to line leather-esque bags made out of recycled tire inner tubes from America...why? Because we are fatter, and therefore supply more material per shirt.
Bag from Hell's Kitchen's Fall 2010 collection. Photo copyright Mairi Beautyman

The Verona, Italy-based firm produces the bags -- all unique and machine-washable -- out of 100 percent recycled material. Even the straps are recycled seat belts from Italian car demolition centers. Beyond the bags, an eco wash is used to scrub away grease and dirt and packaging is pizza boxes made out of recycled paper.

To put it in the company's own words,

If a larva can turn into a butterfly, if a parasite can become a pearl, if a piece of coal can become a diamond, but above all, if the bad luck of getting a puncture can turn into an idea... that's just how an inner tube can suddenly turn into a bag. Or rather, a collection of bags.


Helmets from Hell's Kitchen's Fall 2010 collection. Photo copyright Mairi Beautyman

Hell's Kitchen also produces motorbike helmets with recycled covers -- although the interiors are not recycled due to safety regulations.

The sad truth is there are many things that make us fat. If American fast food chains like Mcdonald's continue stimulus plans in Europe, Hell's Kitchen might soon be sourcing recycled shirts locally.

*[Editor's note: In a previous version of this post, the headline read, "Bread & Butter Berlin: Recycling Shirts From Americans...Because They Are Fatter." A representative of the Hell's Kitchen, retracted her statement that Hell's Kitchen uses shirts from America because Americans are "fatter," clarifying that "Americans are generally physically more structured, taller, sometimes fatter that the typical italian [sic] person." Her note can be read in the in the comments below.]

More From Bread & Butter Berlin (Winter collection 2010)

Bread & Butter Berlin: Costo Recycled Hats Solve the Pom-pom Problem
Bread & Butter Berlin: Simple Shoes' Soles Biodegrade 980 Years Faster
More on Obesity
What Makes You Fat?
How Much Can Bike Commuting Curb Obesity?
You Are Where You Eat: Obesity Maps of North America

Tags: Recycled Fashion | Sustainable Fabrics

Best of TreeHugger