The Unexpected Accessory Prince William Rocked To Support Sustainable Fashion

It's usually Catherine, Princess of Wales, who grabs our attention with her fashion choices, but lest you think she's the only one with a crush-worthy closet in her little royal family, please direct your attention to her husband William, Prince of Wales. William and Kate are known for wearing coordinated looks on occasion, but His Royal Highness also has a unique vibe all his own when it comes to clothes.

Regal in full military uniform, dapper in suits, sporty in polo gear, and charming in simple jeans and a button-down, the next in line and ready-to-be-king Prince William is a more laidback fashionista. Most commonly, you'll find him in a dark blue suit (single-breasted, for those of you taking notes), and though it may be the most basic of menswear, William has been known to spice up the look. 

In particular, the Prince of Wales's most commonly used accessory is a classic necktie. William favors a long, thin tie when suited up, usually in shades of blue or red. Sometimes, the tie is more significant than it first appears. A champion for the environment, the father of three is a fan of sustainable fashion, and not only recycles his blue suits but owns at least one tie derived from recycled materials.

Prince William's tie was made from plastic bottles

Royal watchers are used to seeing the Prince of Wales wearing a nice tie, but this one is particularly noteworthy thanks to its sustainable fashion status. Created by the Italian brand Wilmok, the tie is handmade using recycled material. rPET, a type of recycled polyester, is comprised of polyester fibers converted from melted plastic. According to Wilmok, the brand is the first of its kind to create a tie from 100% recycled plastic, and they estimate there are 3.5 plastic bottles that make up each tie.

Prince William wore the eye-catching recycled tie to an event in Singapore in November 2023, where it caught the attention of, well, everyone. Wilmok has since been inundated with orders for the tie, proving the beloved royal has just as much influence in the fashion arena as his wife. It's not the first time the recycled fashion item has made an appearance in public either. The tie accompanied his blue suit in Boston, in December 2022, and at a pre-coronation reception at Buckingham Palace in May 2023. 

"We are a very, very small business, so it's just insane that the Prince of Wales is wearing my tie!" Wilmok's founder, Darryll Wilson, excitedly told People. "I did some detective work and I see that the order came from his PA, so I'm thinking William might have chosen it himself." If you aren't a fan of the floral-print pattern William wears so well, there are about 20 others to choose from, all at a price of $50 — although several have already sold out at the time of writing.

Sustainable fashion is a royal family affair

While Kate Middleton may have some influence over her husband's closet, Prince William has inherited some style sense from his father, King Charles III, too. Charles has long been a fan of sustainable fashion, even before it was trendy. In 2020, the king proudly informed British Vogue that he had been working on sustainability in several arenas for decades, and mentioned fashion in particular. "The textile industry contributes something like 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas [...] more than the entire aviation and shipping sectors," he pointed out. "So it is critical that we address the whole issue around how we produce clothes."

William himself is similarly proactive when it comes to the environment. "Together we must protect and restore nature, clean our air, revive our oceans, build a waste-free world, and fix our climate, and we must strive to do all of this in a decade," he shared in a video about the 2023 Earthshot Prize Awards. For the ceremony where the Earthshot prizes were awarded, the prince practiced what he preached, and wore a green velvet blazer that had been in his closet for 10 years — the same one he wore to the same ceremony two years earlier. As for the tie, it was completely absent; he instead paired his coat with a turtleneck.