The Cork-designed leggings that are squat-proof and helping to save the ocean

Be Mona has already reused more than 18,300 plastic bottles
The Cork-designed leggings that are squat-proof and helping to save the ocean

The sports bra and leggings come in three colours: black, red and yellow

A Cork-based environmentalist who is determined to do her bit to turn the tide on our ocean’s plastic pollution problem has developed a sustainable sportswear line using recycled plastic bottles.

Be Mona, the brainchild of Chilean native Caro H, has already reused more than 18,300 plastic bottles in creating its sports bras and leggings.

The inspiration for the brand came from Caro's experience diving in her native Chile, where she experienced first-hand the damage plastic is having on our oceans. 

“I used to dive a lot with friends," she said, "and we used to always see so much plastic under the sea."

Caro said it always made her "so sad” and with a background in business and a passion for fashion, she made the decision to start her own-start up and start doing her bit to help. 

The sports bras and leggings are currently available in 3 colours
The sports bras and leggings are currently available in 3 colours

“During the lockdowns, I found myself wearing a lot of activewear," she said, "I wanted to wear something comfortable and functional."

Caro said she was determined to use recycled plastics to create the garments rather than virgin plastic, which is commonly used in the fast fashion industry. 

Recent research by the Royal Society for the Arts (RSA) found that, on average, half of women’s clothes for sale on leading online websites like Boohoo, Prettylittlething, Missguided and Asos, were made entirely from virgin plastics while just 3% of clothes containing plastics used recycled plastics.

So, after a lot of research, Be Mona teamed up with a recycling company in Taiwan who collect, clean, treat and shred plastic bottles which end up in the sea.

"Then we can use the recycled plastic to create the fabric we use for our garments, instead of using virgin plastic.”

Caro, who launched Be Mona in May 2020, said she was struck by the culture of “fast fashion” in Ireland where things are worn once or twice and then thrown away: “It’s like buying a cup of coffee.” 

“We don’t want our garments to be like that. We want them to have many lives, and if after five years or so you don’t wear them anymore and you don’t use them, you can send them back to us and we will send it back to our manufacturer and they can reuse it.” 

“The most important thing is we aren’t throwing anything away and we don’t want our customers to throw anything away.” 

At present, the brand offers just three colours - black, yellow and red - but they are hoping to expand the colour offering soon due to customer demand. Another customer demand has been pockets.

“We’re working on that,” she promises.

The brand are also looking at discarded fishing nets in a future collection.

Explaining the meaning behind the brand name, Caro says it has a triple meaning, drawing on the Irish meaning of Mona ‘noble’ or ‘aristocratic,' the Spanish translation ‘cute’ and the Persian meaning ‘everlasting.’ 

“Those are the three attributes we wanted for our brands,” Caro explains, “the garments will last forever, you will look cute and it’ll have a luxury feel.”

You can check out Be Mona's sustainable sportswear at bemona.co

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