We're not really fans of polyester. It's mass produced and can be sweaty to wear. But what if this ugly duckling could make a difference to climate change. Using recycled polyester is not new. Patagonia has been doing it for 25 years.
Mums and School Uniform manufacturers love some poly because it means less ironing than cotton; you can throw it into the washing machine and pull it out to hang dry without a wrinkle! Love it.
But, virgin polyester is derived from petroleum - a precious fossil fuel. The boom in disposable clothing has meant more polyester and all the other footprint contributors of freight, production fuels and dyes are impacting our environment. Textile production is the second largest contributor to greenhouse gases.
How Ethical Is Recycled Poly Versus Virgin Poly?
The process of converting PET into recycled polyester uses much less energy than in the case of normal polyester, it takes 33-53% less energy. There are two main advantages:
- 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.