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Recycled Polyester

Reducing landfill waste and dependence on petroleum, recycled polyester is a sustainability doubleheader.

How is Recycled Polyester Different?

Production Materials

Virgin polyester uses non-renewable petroleum as its raw source, using an estimated 342 million barrels of oil every year, as cited by A New Textiles Economy Report 2017. Recycled polyester is made by melting down existing plastics and recreating it as new polyester fiber. It does not depend on petroleum for production.

Used, dirty oil on hands.Used, dirty oil on hands.
Recycled polyester uses no petroleum in it's production.
Recycled polyester uses significantly less energy to produce than regular polyester.

Resources

Polyester requires high amounts of energy to produce, up to 125 MJ of energy per kilogram produced. Recycled polyester uses fewer resources than its traditional counterpart, a savings by the global industry of 5.7 billion liters of water, the energy equivalent to 498,924 US homes powered for one year, and driving 1.7 billion miles in an average sized car in just two years.

Traceability

The CFDA, Council of Fashion Designers of America, claims that they have never been able to trace back polyester to its raw material source, stating that petroleum is one of the hardest raw materials to trace. Recycled polyester certified through Global Recycled Standard (GRS) is tracked through the supply chain, so we know exactly where our fiber comes from.

Impact

Virgin polyester emits 14.2 kg of CO2 per kilogram of clothing produced and in 2015 polyester produced for clothing emitted 282 billion kg of CO2. Besides this, polyester sheds microplastics throughout its life and in routine consumer washes. According to A New Textiles Economy Report 2017, polyester contributes to the estimated 500,000 tons of plastic microfibers that are shed into the oceans annually. Recycled polyester represents a reduction in GHG emissions by more than 70% as compared to virgin polyester. Recycled polyester also diverts plastic from the environment (via sourcing from existing plastic) which reduces soil contamination and air and water pollution.

Micro-pieces of plastic on fingers from ocean.Micro-pieces of plastic on fingers from ocean.
Microplastic sheddings found in the ocean.
Close-up view of recycled polyester fibers.Close-up view of recycled polyester fibers.
Recycled polyester fibers create a strong, durable fabric.

Quality of Material

Polyester and recycled polyester share in quality of material, each creating long-lasting, strong clothing. Garments created from recycled polyester aim to be continuously recycled with no degradation of quality, allowing us to minimize wastage. This means polyester garment manufacture could potentially become a closed loop system.

Benefits of Recycled Polyester

Green dumbell icon.Green dumbell icon.

Durable

Green heart icon.Green heart icon.

Lightweight

Green fiber icon.Green fiber icon.

Wrinkle Resistant

Green moisture icon.Green moisture icon.

Quick Drying

Green temperature icon.Green temperature icon.

Retains Shape

Green breathability icon.Green breathability icon.

Easy to Maintain

Did You Know?

Polyester fibers on spools in a large factory.Polyester fibers on spools in a large factory.

Polyester is the most widely produced fiber, taking 52% of the fiber market share in 2019.

Plastic bottles, fabrics and materials.Plastic bottles, fabrics and materials.

Recycled polyester is most often produced from PET plastic bottles, but can also be made from other post-consumer plastics such as ocean waste, discarded polyester textiles, or from pre-consumer processing residues such as fabric scraps.

Large ball of plastic trash.Large ball of plastic trash.

Global plastic waste is around 300 million tons every year - this amount is comparable to the weight of the entire human population!

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