Recycled Polyester Fabrics

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Too little recycled materials are used

The polyester yarns woven in our fabrics are made of 100 % Recycled Polyester (rPET).

Only around 2% of input for clothing production comes from recycled materials,
mostly polyester from recycled PET bottles.
(source: A New Textiles Economy: Redesigning fashion’s future, Ellen Mac Arthur Foundation, 28 November 2017)

We have consciously decided not to mix virgin and recycled polyesters.

This increases the price of fabrics because a virgin polyester yarn is cheaper than a recycled one.
Being 100% committed to environment protection means no compromise and to use 100% recycled polyester yarns.

The recycled polyester yarn we use is GRS (Global Recycle Standard) certified. This international, voluntary, full product standard sets requirements for third-party certification of recycled content, chain of custody, social and environmental practices and chemical restrictions.

Recycled bottles are transformed into fibber. The process consists in depolymerizing post-consumer PET back into its original feedstock building block, allowing for the (re)manufacture of PET sustainably.
This forms an important contribution to the reduction of virgin input to the textiles industry and an important proof of concept for the use of recycled materials in clothing. In 2020, recycled polyester represents only 14%¹ of the annual polyester fiber production. That means 86% of new virgin polyester is still annually produced.

GRS certified recycled polyester meaning recycled polyester respecting social and environmental practices and chemical restrictions is a small part of these 14%.

We show you on this football playground picture what represents 14% on it.

Good to know:

PET

means polyethylene terephthalate

rPET

means recycled polyethylene terephthalate, recycled polyester
Around the world approximately 250 billion PET bottles are discarded every year which end up in landfills, further contributing to the degradation of nature. It is a fact that on an average PET bottles take up from 450 to 700 years to decompose.

Synthetic fibbers are the most popular fibers in the world

It’s estimated that synthetics account for about 63%² of world production versus 37% for natural fibers. 2%² of the synthetic fibers are made from polyester, and the polyester most often used in textiles is polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The majority of the world’s PET production – about 60% – is used to make fibbers for textiles; about 30% is used to make bottles.
Many internet sites share that “70 million barrels” are needed just to produce the virgin polyester used in fabrics. We did some researches and find the source of this information. It comes from an article published in 2009¹. An update could be done based on actual figures.

Virgin polyester is made through a chemical reaction involving coal, petroleum (from crude oil), air and water. In 2019, 34,74⁴ billion barrels of oil were produced [95,2 million barrel per day].

According to A New Textiles Economy Report 2017³, 4% of total oil production is used to produce plastics, of which 25% becomes textiles. Producing plastic-based fibers for textiles uses an estimated 347 million barrels6 of oil every year. Plastic-based fibers are polyester (83%), polyamide (8%), other synthetics (9%)².

That means that approximatively 288 million barrels are needed today just to produce virgin polyester. As a weight of a barrel is 0,136 ton, 39 million tonnes of virgin polyester are yearly produced if we apply these assumptions.

But in fact, a volume of 57.7 million tonnes² of polyester is yearly produced. In 1980, the volume of global polyester production was 5.2 million tons and increased by a factor of 10 in 40 years.

As 1 ton of polyester needs 1,1 ton of oil, it means that 63.5 million tones of oil or 467 million barrels are extracted…

So the range is between 288 million and 467 million barrels. In any case and regardless the chosen assumptions, that’s too many million barrels !

In 2020, recycled polyester represents only 14%² of the annual polyester fiber production. That means 86% of new virgin polyester is still annually produced.

Recycled polyester rPET is a more environmentally sustainable solution to virgin polyester

  • it uses between 30 and 50 per cent less energy, reduces the need for primary extraction of crude oil and cuts the amount disposed in landfill.
  • it does not need any ton of oil where as 1 tonne of virgin polyester needs 1,1 tonne of oil³. Less extracted oil, more recycled plastic bottles, less bottles in the oceans, more pressure put on big brands to integrate recycled polyester in their collection, one step more to create a virtuous circle.
  • our recycled polyester is a mechanically recycled polyester from post consumed bottles. Together we need to continue the move and accelerate the transition. That’s why we only offer fabrics whose polyester is 100% recycled (rPET). Offering a fabric with less than 100% recycled polyester is marketing and promotional strategy.

What is Recycled Polyester rPET ?

Bottles

 

Bottles shred into flakes

 

Flakes melted into palets

 

Palets extruded in yarns

 

Yarns woven into fabrics

“Polyester is the most used fiber in the apparel industry. And as Textile Exchange has worked to move the market to preferred fibers, such as organic cotton, it is time that we do the same for polyester. We must move from oil as a feedstock to plastic bottles and eventually post- consumer textiles in a big way. LCA data, the Higg MSI and MADE-BY Environmental Benchmark makes rPET the clear choice.”

Karla Magruder
Fabrikology, rPET WG Lead for Textile Exchange

According to CO35 from the Ethical Fashion Forum, the energy required to produce virgin polyester (125 MJ of energy per kilogram produced) and the greenhouse gas emitted (14.2 kg of CO 2 per kilogram produced) make it a high-impact process.

Sources
  1. https://oecotextiles.blog/2009/07/14/why-is-recycled-polyester-considered-a-sustainable-textile/ ,2009
  2. Preferred Fiber & Materials Market Report 2020, Textile Exchange, 2020
  3. A New Textiles Economy: Redesigning Fashions’s Future, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2017
  4. https://www.statista.com/statistics/265203/global-oil-production-since-in-barrels-per-day/ , 2021 
  5. https://www.commonobjective.co/article/fibre-briefing-polyester

What about tiny plastic particles?

rPET or recycled polyester is part of a zero waste and circular economy approach. By the reuse of already produced materials which are otherwise doomed to destruction and therefore the non-generation of virgin polyester from petroleum, it is considered a material serving responsible fashion.

rPET or recycled polyester comes from the recycling of plastic bottles, which pollute the planet, and in particular the oceans.
Organizations have been created and are active in cleaning up the oceans. They work with fishermen to extract the plastic that pollutes the seas and threatens marine biodiversity, in order to recycle it. This recycled plastic can sometimes be transformed into a new garment.

Recycling polyester from waste makes it possible to act already upstream in the chain and reduce the total quantity of polyester produced and oil extracted. In addition, rPET requires 30 to 50% less energy to produce than conventional PET, according to the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN).

However, we must remain vigilant with our recycled polyester or rPET clothing. We can play a role in the pollution of the oceans by our washing machines. It is a source of pollution that is difficult to quantify. As on a virgin polyester garment, plastic micro-particles can be released during washing and therefore impact the environment.

One solution that we have identified that seems to be effective is the Guppy Friend wash bag. Click on the link to learn good washing tips on how to reduce microplastic shedding
This bag limits friction that can cause pilling and limits the leakage of microfibers into nature.
It is made of 100% undyed polyamide, additive free and recyclable (just remove the zipper before recycling).
Use: Place the recycled polyester clothes in the bag (fill it halfway to the maximum). Gather clothes of the same color preferably and favor a low temperature in order to limit the wear of your clothes.
Available on our shop.

Tiny Plastic Particles
Clothes for babies and children

rPET JERSEY SPORT

This recycled polyester rPET fabric is
amazing in many waysStretch fabric,
b
i-extensible thanks to its elastane
composition
it fits the body perfectly.
Its 
anti UV rays (40 SPF) treatment from
the German company Rudolph Group
protects the skin from sun. 

 

  • 82Recycled Polyester rPET
  • 18Lycra®
  • 300 gr/sqm
  • 150cm width
Clothes for babies and children
Clothes for babies and children
Clothes for babies and children

rPET WATERPROOF AND BREATHABLE PUL FABRIC 

100% recycled polyester rPET jersey with a waterproof and breathable laminate coating. 

 

  • 100% Recycled Polyester rPET backed with a waterproof and breathable laminate coating
  • 140 g/sqm
  • 140 cm width

rPET SATIN

The recycled polyester satin (rPET) is very soft, slippery.

Recycled polyester satin rPET is an alternative to silk satin. A satin pillowcase for some dehydrates less, preserves curly hair and helps prevent split ends. The 5% elastane makes it very pleasant to work and wear.  

 

  • 95% Recycled Polyester
  • rPET 5% Elastane
  • 80 gr/m2
  • 145 cm width
diapers
diapers
diapers
diapers

rPET WATERPROOF CANVAS

Canvas fabric made from 100% recycled polyester rPET is a durable and resistant fabric.
Waterproof and printed with the patterns you have chosen, this is the ideal fabric for interior and exterior projects

 

  • 100% Recycled Polyester rPET
  • 270 gr/sqm
  • 150cm width
diapers
diapers
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rPET CREPE

Crepe fabric made from 100% recycled polyester rPET is a light, breathable and with a fuzzy effect. This high quality fabric is ideal for making light clothing such as dresses, skirts or tops.

 

  • 100% Recycled Polyester
  • 110 gr/sqm
  • 150 cm width
diapers
diapers
diapers
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rPET CHIFFON

Chiffon is a light fabric with a subtle transparency and a beautiful fall. It gives your creation an airy look and a luxurious touch.

 

  • 100% Recycled Polyester rPET
  • 81 gr/sqm
  • 147 cm width
diapers
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rPET WATERPROOF OXFORD

rPET Waterproof Oxford fabric is a thicker fabric and waterproof, which makes it perfect for indoor and outdoor projects: jackets, bags, backpacks, pencil cases, pouches, document holders…

Also, we can use it to renew covers for strollers, pushchairs, highchairs or to make new upholstery for in and out.

 

  • 100% Recycled Polyester rPET
  • 220 gr/sqm
  • 150 cm width
backpack
diapers
diapers
diapers
diapers
diapers

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