Caleb Franklin, Caleb Franklin

Renew Merchandise generates green Gamecock gear

Your soda bottle could be a shirt one day.

No, really. Through the efforts of Renew Merchandise, recycled plastic bottles can become custom clothing.

Renew Merchandise takes certified post-consumer bottles made of PET plastic and breaks them down as part of a custom five-step process. The plastic is then used to make signature Renew Fibers, which is woven into yarn and forms the RPET fabric of their merchandise.

Renew Merchandise can be found at USC in the form of T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, polos, water bottles and aprons and can be ordered online. According to Namita Koppa, assistant director of program management, Renew Merchandise T-shirts can be found in the university bookstore, and winter clothes are on the way.

Custom RPET Gamecock gear makes USC the third school in the country, after the University of Vermont and the University of Oregon, to sign with Renew Merchandise, closely followed by Georgia Southern.

Renew Merchandise products can also be found on Major League Baseball teams, like the Cincinatti Reds, the Atlanta Braves and the Texas Rangers.  Renew Merchandise also made 2010 World Cup uniforms for Brazil and Portugal, as well as the upholstery of some new Ford vehicles.

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