Clothes are essential in our everyday lives, and our fashion sense is a way of expression for us. As we continue to learn more about the extent our actions have on our environment, sustainable fashion is becoming a major topic in the clothing industry.
There are many different types and forms of fabric out there, and today we will focus on those made from recycled plastic bottles and the benefits this can have on our environment.
As you will be aware, thanks to innovative recycling technologies, plastic bottles can now be turned into soft polyester thread to make eco-friendly clothing. Plastic bottles and polyester thread are actually made of the same substance – polyethylene terephthalate, also known as PET.
The process of creating fibres from plastic bottles begins once you discard your used plastic bottle in the recycling bin. These bottles are sent to recycling facilities, where they are separated by colour and caps are removed. They are then shredded to bits in order to remove any remaining moisture.
For the purpose of making clothing, clear bottles are used as they produce white thread which is easy to dye in any desirable colour. The shredded plastic is then washed, dried and sterilised.
The dried plastic is then heated until it becomes a sticky, pliable substance. It is then sent through tiny pipe holes to make it into filaments, which are threads 5 times finer than human hair!
The plastic filaments are then torn up into fluff that eventually gets strengthened into the polyester thread; this process is similar to the one used in the production of cotton. The thread is then wound around a spool, submerged into dye and fed through a knitting machine that turns the threads into bolts of knitted cloth.
A great benefit of creating clothing using recycled PET, is that it reduces the dependence of the industry on the use of petroleum, as normally polyester fibres are made using raw petroleum.
Additionally, creating rPET resin suitable for yard production utilises 50% less energy than is needed to manufacture virgin Polyester from scratch. It also means that a smaller number of carbon emissions are released and 20% less water is used in the process.
Clothing made from recycled PET can also be recycled again and again, by turning it back into fibres to be used for producing more clothing.
In our store you can find rPET shirts that will make you stand out of the crowd, and at the same time make you feel good about yourself and your help to the environment.
Check out our store here - https://eco-wear.co.uk/