Recycled PET Plastic
Recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate, also called rPET) has been in development since the early 90s. Thanks to the evolution of technology and the fight against plastic pollution, nowadays buying rPET plastic garments is a good option to avoid the production of new plastics keep plastics from going to landfill and the ocean. It is as good as virgin polyester but takes much less resources. Moreover, it contributes to the circular fashion economy.
Although considered as a sustainable material, it is not perfect. First, recycling has its limitations. Many garments are not made from a blend of different materials, making it difficult or even impossible to recycle again. Second, the process of rPET impacts the environment, too. And third, rPET still releases microplastics when washing. Therefore, we strongly recommend using a Microfiber Catching Washing Bag.
A much-used fabric made from rPET is REPREVE®. The high-quality fibers are made from 100% recycled materials, including post-consumer plastic bottles and pre-consumer waste. They are also certified and traceable.
REPREVE® can also be mixed with other materials to produce a high tech fabric, combining high functionality and sustainability. For example, Vitamin A’s created EcoLux™. To create this new, unique material, REPREVE® recycled nylon fiber is blended with Xtra Life Lycra®, resulting in a gorgeous, nearly weightless, long-lasting fit.
Recycled Nylon or Econyl®
Fishing nets have become a huge problem for marine life. Whales, dolphins, turtles and other marine friends are being trapped by the nets left behind by fishermen. But with some clever innovations and technology, fashion can be the answer to clean up these nets and save the lives of our beautiful marine life.
Same as for rPET, recycled Nylon is considered as a much more sustainable material, helping to offset the use of petroleum, emitting fewer greenhouse gases and conserving water and energy in the process. Yet, it also has negative impacts, such as limited recycling possibilities, additional emissions in the recycling process and the issue of microplastic release.
The most known fabric made from recycled Nylon is ECONYL®, created by the Italian firm Aquafil. It uses synthetic waste to recycle and regenerate them into a new nylon yarn that is exactly the same quality as virgin one.
Cashmere is a soft, lightweight and warm material obtained from goats. Today, cashmere is widely used throughout the industry as a commodity fiber, which is leading to overbreeding of cashmere goats, a decrease in fiber quality, and the desertification of the Mongolian region, where the vast majority of cashmere goats live.
The recycled version comes from old cashmere clothes, re-transformed into fabrics to be reused. The pre-consumer scraps are collected, meticulously sorted by color and then put in giant machines that shred the fiber. The new fiber keeps all the qualities of its original form, while meeting sustainable goals.
Wool is a natural fiber that insulates, breathes and lasts for a long time. Producing wool, however, is a resource-intensive job. It requires vast amounts of land for grazing sheep, water to clean the fiber, chemicals to treat the wool and dyes to color the finished product.
Recycled wool can be generated both from post-consumer sources, such as factory scraps, and post-consumer ones, such as returned garments. It is great to extend the lifespan of fiber that has already been produced. As a result, clothing can be made with the same great qualities as virgin wool at a fraction of the environmental cost and without any additional harm to animals. Recycled wool can reduce up to 83% of CO2equ. emissions compared to virgin wool.