WHAT IS RECYCLED POLYESTER ?

Grab a glass of pinot, the conversation is about to get real sexy.

Plus, their is nothing more satisfying than being at that social dinner and having a good ice breaker when conversation goes stale.

A sun protective tee made from recycled plastic bottles!  Who would of thought? Seems a little futuristic doesn’t it. But here we are; textiles, garments even backpacks made from recycled plastic bottles.

Recycled polyester is not new to the textile industry. This technology and process has been around since the early 90’s. But fast forward to 2019, most consumers have turned their focus to a world of sustainability and a closed loop economy. We are now far more conscious about our waste and single use plastic therefore this technology of turning PET into recycled polyester is more relevant and important than it ever has been.  

Unlike polyester, recycled polyester uses PET as the raw material. PET is the same material that is used in clear plastic bottles for water, juices and soap and reusing these bottles prevents them from ending up in landfill. The steps involved in the production process are as follows.

  1. The collected PET bottles are sorted at a recycling facility where they are sterilized, thoroughly cleaned, dried and the labels are removed.  Then, the bottles are separated by color (For producing a white polyester yarn - clear bottles, for green polyester yarn - green bottles).
  2. The bottles go into a grinder where they are ground into small chips. 
  3. The chips are heated and dried to remove any moisture.
  4. The dry chips are shoved through hot pipes to melt them into a liquid. The liquid gets filtered through a dye plate with tiny holes. 
  5. The filaments are then hardened and pool and are sent over air rollers.  
  6. The machine spools the yarn and stretches it.  
  7. This yarn is then dyed, made into bales and ready to be woven into polyester fabric.

The big positive on producing recycled polyester is its positive impact on the environment.  

The production of recycled PET uses about 90% less water than production of virgin polyester and the process of converting PET into recycled polyester requires far less energy than producing normal polyester. In fact 33% to 53% less energy is required. A very good reason to choose recycled PET garments. 

What is important though is recycling PET to create the fabrics prevents it from going to landfill. Using more recycled polyester reduces dependence on petroleum (no new petroleum is required to produce recycled polyester - rPET). 

Performance, durability and high strength of rPET is the same as virgin polyester but with lower environmental impact. 

That’s a big win for all and mother earth.

So sit back and enjoy that wine and when the conversation gets stale you know what to say.


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