Turning trash into treasure: Bering Freeway kit created using 70% recycled plastic

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French kit manufacturer Bering have taken environmental sustainability one step further as their latest Freeway suit is made from 70% recycled plastic bottles taken directly from the sea.

The key ingredient is Repreve, a material produced from ground-up plastic bottles fished out from the world’s oceans.

The bottles are cleaned, flaked, melted and extruded to form fibres that are then spun into yarn to be used in a variety of products.

Inside the Repreve factory

Since its creation in 2007, Repreve has helped to remove more than 30 billion plastic bottles from the environment and recycled them, in partnership with brands such as Nike, North Face and now, Bering – the first brand in the motorcycling market.

The Freeway isn’t Bering’s first recycled jacket – that was the Portland – but it is the first to be cost-effective enough to make it viable for the UK market.

The main Repreve sections – grey on the pictures here – are supple and pliable while the Serica-twill-woven non-critical sections, blue and black in the pictures, have a softshell finish and provide flexibility and stretch for use on the bike. The result is a flexible, light and comfortable jacket.

The mesh linings in both the jacket and trousers are also formed from Repreve and the thermal liner is Bering’s Shelltech Extreme, using Primaloft Gold to guarantee warmth even when wet.

The Freeway uses the French firm’s Alpha Level-1 armour throughout but impact protection can be increased to Level-2 specification by adding the corresponding Omega components to the Alpha, which avoids the need to dispose of redundant L1 armour once replaced with L2.

While the Freeway suit uses the highest level of Bering’s BWTech fixed inner membrane, Extreme, a laminated version of the recycled material is under development to offer the convenience and performance of a laminated outer with the innovation of recycled materials.

Bering Freeway jacket rear

We tried the Freeway jacket on at the recent preview event at the UK distributor, Bikerheads’ (bikerheadz.co.uk) south-coast HQ and were impressed with the flexibility and feel of the garment.

It felt much more pliable than a comparable garment in say heavyweight Cordura and while it allowed movement with no restrictions, it was also lightweight yet warm.

The Freeway suit should be available from January, with the jacket retailing at £464.99 and the trousers, £299.99.

Jim Blackstock

By Jim Blackstock