I get many questions about Polyester, What is Recycled Poly?, How it is Made?, and Why should you shop for it? In this blog, I’ll try to address those questions so that you can make more sustainable shopping choices going forward.
What is Polyester?
Polyester, first introduced in the 1940’s, is a fabric made from mixing ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid….essentially it is melted down plastic. These fabrics are popular in Sportswear, fleeces, coats, bedding, footwear, activewear, luggage, furnishing, etc. While it is a durable and breathable fabric, with many end uses, the production of it is harmful to the environment.
What Is Recycled Polyester?
Did you know enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the Earth four times and Americans throw away 35 billion plastic bottles every year? Recycled polyester helps us to repurpose this plastic and divert it from landfills. Like traditional polyester, it’s a man-made fiber produced from synthetic material. Recycled polyester uses existing plastics, such as water bottles, to prevent our landfills from filling up and it reduces emissions from incinerators.
How Is It Made?
So how do we turn water bottles into polyester clothing?
-Plastic bottles are collected and washed.
-Bottle Scraps, labels, and caps are removed and then the plastic is crushed/shredded into pieces.
-The Scraps are then melted into chips.
-The chips are then melted and made into fibers
-The fibers are crimped, cut, and stretched to form a fabric
-The fabric is knitted and made into garments!
Why Choose Recycled Polyester?
With approximately 1 million water bottles being bought every minute around the world, we need to come up with a way to repurpose them, especially since Plastic can take 400 plus years to decompose. Recycled polyester not only contributes to the reduction of petroleum extraction, but it also consumes less energy to convert to clothing than the regular method, It also allows for a much longer life-cycle of the garment. Understand, just because this fabric is made from recycled plastic doesn’t mean that it is stiff and uncomfortable. The fabric is just as soft and resilient as non-recycled polyesters.
So next time you shop, look at the label and shop sustainably. Remember, just because a brand is using recycled polyester doesn’t mean that it is fully sustainable. Other things you should consider at are: Shipping materials/methods, Dye/Washing Process, The companies practices/values, where the product is produced, etc?
Cerinic, our activewear line, is made out of recycled polyester, to reduce our footprint and preserve this amazing planet!
Let us know your favorite sustainable products so that we can feature them in future blogs!