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Hideout Block Party hits the bottle for fest T-shirts

September 13, 2012|Adam Lukach, @lucheezy | RedEye

How does wearing a water bottle sound? Not very comfortable, you say? Well, get ready to be comfortably surprised.

The people at Fred water recently began an initiative to turn recycled water bottles into T-shirts, and this weekend, those tops will be the official shirt of the Hideout Block Party and A.V. Fest.

"Because of the curious nature of our brand, we form organic relationships with people who are curious about what we do," said Adam Gayner, CEO of Fred.

The T-shirts feature the names of all performers from Friday and Saturday's festival, and the composition on the tags reads "100% recycled plastic bottles"--because, well, it is. The fabric is not a blend, but simply melted bottles that have been turned into something wearable.

"When you touch the shirt, everyone says the exact same thing," Gayner said. "They say, 'Wow.'"

The idea of recycling material into something more usable is called "upcycling," in which waste products are reappropriated into something that has multiple uses, and thus a higher utility and environmental value. Gayner said the recycling rate for plastic bottles in the U.S. is only about 28 percent.

"If a bottle becomes something that is worth more, then there is more money and ability to collect and recycle them," he said. "It's a way to educate people as well."

Fred has been turning the bottles into shirts because, "who doesn't love a cool T-shirt," Gayner said, and it already was the official water of the festival before the A.V. Club approached them about the shirts.

This is not the only socially conscious element of the festival, as $4 from each ticket sold will be donated to charities.

"As we were launching the T-shirt initiative, they (AV Club) were really excited about it, and we are too," Gayner said.

This year's Hideout Block Party will be the 16th annual event and is sold out.

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