our fabrics are made from recycled plastic bottles
The fabrics we choose to work with are made of 78% Recycled Polyester (of Recycled PET) and 22% Elastane
But what does this actually mean?
PET, which stands for polyethylene terephthalate, is a form of polyester (just like the clothing fabric). It is extruded or molded into plastic bottles and containers for packaging foods and beverages, personal care products, and many other consumer products.
Recycled polyester is made from plastic bottles – which have been collected, sorted by colour, and then melted down and formed into chips (sometimes called flakes). These chips or flakes are then sent to the yarn spinning mills, where they’re melted down and turned into yarn to create new fabric.
Recycled Polyester – How is it different?
Unlike polyester, recycled polyester uses PET as the raw material. This is the same material that is used in clear plastic water bottles, and recycling it to create the fabric prevents it from going to landfill. The steps involved in the production process are as follows.
- The collected PET bottles are sterilized, dried and crushed into small chips.
- The chips are heated and passed through a spinner to form strings of yarn.
- This yarn is wound up in spools.
- The fibre is then passed through a crimping machine to create a fluffy wooly texture.
- This yarn is then knitted into polyester fabric.
How Ethical Is It Versus Virgin Polyester?
This process of converting PET into recycled polyester requires much less energy than in the case of normal polyester, it takes 33-53% less energy. There are two main advantages to this process:
- Using more recycled polyester reduces our dependence on petroleum as the raw material for our fabric needs.
- Diverting PET bottles for this process reduces landfill, and thus less soil contamination, air, and water pollution.
Another benefit is that the garments created from recycled polyester can be recycled again and again with no degradation of quality, allowing us to minimize wastage. This means garment manufacture could potentially become a closed loop system, polyester could forever be reused and recycled.