Sustainably Chic

Promoting Consciousness through Art & Street Fashion

FashionNatalie Kay


What happens when a Seattle basketball mom becomes angry over plastic bottle waste leftover at games? She creates a clothing line to help combat the issue! Ruth True, also a big supporter of the arts, wanted to help spread the conversation about consumerism and waste through one of my favorite outlets, fashion. In 2014, she started the Nube9 uniform, made out of U.S.-sourced, post-consumer, recycled plastic water bottles. What started with one reversible jersey for young basketball players, has turned into a line providing uniforms for 7 more sports, and now, a street collection. By the way, they recently completed their Kickstarter for the latest collection, NUBE9 x CHRIS JORDAN "RUNNIN9 THE NUMBERS", with over $23,000 raised! A big congratulations to them!! Now, they can get down to business on their first athletic wear line cool enough to wear outside the gym.

The "RUNNIN9 THE NUMBERS" collection is all about bringing art and fashion together to raise a voice on the social and environmental impacts of what we purchase and what we throw away. 

It’s through the medium of art that we seek to spark curiosity and start dialog about how the things we use and buy affect the world around us. With clothing as our canvas, our alluring and provocative prints are opening the doors to conversation.
— Nube9

Teaming up with Chris Jordan, an artist, photographer & activist, the line features something we use absolutely everyday - the light bulb. Inspired by his piece "Light Bulbs 2008", the work of 320,000 light bulbs represents the number of kilowatt hours of electricity wasted every minute within the United States. I knew the number had to be big, but I sure didn't know it was this extravagant {kind of like when you find out how much water it takes to make a burger}. 

Curious as to how many plastic bottles you are saving from landfill with purchasing from Nube9? Each product saves 5-30 bottles, and my favorite piece, the Cropped Tank, saves 9. I'm all about my athletic clothing designed to be worn outside of my work out routine. I'm an explorer and avid walker, so a tee that looks good and has moisture wicking capabilities is a win-win. I wore my cropped tank walking around in Asheville {hence, the gorgeous flowers in the photos}, and then out in the town for some drinks. This fabric is soft, has the perfect amount of stretch and tags are printed rather than sewn in. Plus, all garments are created right here in the US, both in Seattle & LA. Garment happened to be worn out? Send it back to them, and they will recycle it to create new fiber!  

Of course, the end goal is to promote mindfulness and get away from single-use bottles. But for now, there is a problem with plastic waste, and Nube9 is here to combat it. Want to join them? Shop their entire new collection, here, and don't forget to follow them on Instagram!

p.s. Stay tuned for an Instagram Giveaway featuring the Cropped Tank this Wednesday!