April 28, 2008, Updated September 13, 2012

Bagir’s suit is the first in the world to carry a carbon footprint label.

An Israeli company Bagir has devised a new way to help fathers everywhere go green, without Dad ever having to realize it. Bagir and Sears have joined forces and starting this Father’s Day are selling the world’s first suit made from recycled plastic bottles.

The “EcoGIR” suit to be sold under the Covington private-label, will be available come June in Sears stores across the United States. Made from wool and recycled PET plastic bottles collected in Japan, Bagir’s suits will also be the first in the world to carry a carbon footprint label.

A carbon emissions label, they say, will help educate consumers to let them know how much greenhouse gas causing carbon dioxide emissions, or its equivalent, was created during the manufacturing and shipping process.

Driven by the “green” movement, but not calling themselves green, Bagir says it still has a long way to go before becoming the ultimate environmentally-conscious tailored clothing manufacturer. Its first steps however are a leap in this area, and make Bagir a trendsetter that young environmentalists everywhere are talking about.

The company’s ultimate dream, says Moshe Gadot, the director of global development and marketing, is to one day see the entire tailored clothing industry go green.

“Eco was a strong direction for our company so we started working with consultants and found a few threats,” he tells ISRAEL21c. The first threat was the chemical perchloroethylene known as “perc” used in the dry cleaning business, and which is now entering America’s drinking water.

To reduce the use of perc, Bagir invented the world’s first machine washable suit, available today through Marks and Spencer. It was a hit among men on the go who liked the idea of washing their suit in water at home or in the hotel, while saving the planet.

When looking at its carbon footprint, Bagir found that it could reduce virgin materials used in the manufacturing process and develop a recycled suit line. Bagir turned to post-consumer waste and decided to incorporate recycled plastic bottles into a couple of lines.

“Recycled bottles save 77 percent of the carbon emissions that go into suit production,” says Gadot.

The company also works to educate consumers about using lower temperature wash cycles.

Working with the UK consultancy Greenstone Carbon Management, Gadot say the first step to reduce one’s carbon footprint is by measuring it. “The huge impact is during air shipment. So we’ve started to do more shipping by sea,” he says. “Once you start to measure, you start to improve.”

The goal is to create a suit that has the least impact on the earth, yet remains stylish and is priced the same as competitive brands.

And if the thought of wearing recycled plastic bottles isn’t your dad’s thing, consider Bagir’s line of organic cotton blend suits, with lining made from bamboo and buttons from Tagua palm tree seeds, ecologically harvested.

Bagir is used to innovation, both in marketing and in producing new garments. They have also created the iPod suit, for music lovers to discreetly hook up to their iPod MP3 player while at the office.

A part of the Polgat Group, today Bagir outfits 1 in 6 UK men, mainly through Marks and Spencer. In the US, Bagir supplies to the higher end label Brookes Brothers and the Limited brand.

Bagir is headquartered in Kiryat Gat Israel, where it maintains a small production line for prototypes and special orders. Its manufacturing sites today are in Jordan, Egypt and China, with subcontractors around the world.

Founded in the 1970s, the company was opened not to supply trendy bellbottom suits to Israelis, but to help give jobs to new immigrants.

And what’s next for Bagir is up the company’s sleeve.

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

Executive Director

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