Recycled polyester (RPET) comes from PET (the chemical name for polyester) plastic bottles that are melted down and re-spun into new, recycled plastic products such as polyester fibers, yarns and fabrics.
Polypropylene (PP) plastic is a form of hard plastic created out of refining petroleum, another scarce and valuable commodity extracted from the earth.
PP is one of the most used plastics in the world. But because PP is mixed with metals and other materials to make large domestic appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioners, it is laborious and costly to separate the PP from the metal, leaving PP estimated at only 3% recycled.
Recycled fabrics are a safe alternative to regular polyester and polyester blends. Waste2Wear fabrics are produced with the highest degree of care for health and safety. Our products are tested and certified by worldwide industry leaders in quality testing including:
- Inter-Tek (a worldwide industry leader in third party quality testing)
- OEKO-Tex® Standard 100
- GRS (Global Recycled Standard)
- BSCI (Business Social Compliance Certificate verifies social & ethical working conditions in our factories)
It is estimated that a staggering one and a half billion plastic bottles are bought and thrown away across the globe every day. We believe that waste is only waste when we don’t do anything with it. We see these bottles as a viable, eco-friendly and sustainable resource. Humankind is exhausting and polluting our planet, and that is exactly why we need to be more responsible and take care of our home. We need to rethink how we use our valuable resources.
We are always looking for alternative ways to use plastic waste to reduce the plastic problem. In addition to recycling plastic bottles into sustainable fabrics and finished products, we recycle polypropylene, nylon and high impact polystyrene.
A team of professional waste collectors are contracted to collect post-consumer plastic water bottles. The bottles are flattened and taken by truck to a recycling facility. This is where the conversion process begins in turning the bottles into a new usable commodity.
- A flotation and separation process removes the caps and labels from the bottles, as they are made of plastics with different characteristics.
- Different coloured RPET plastic bottles are separated. Clear plastic is the most in demand but we use all colours. Nothing goes to waste.
- Plastic bottles are then processed into flakes
- After being washed the flakes are melted
- Raw filament yarns are pulled from the melted polyester
- The result is a clean, valuable, and recycled raw material perfect for the textile industry
- The raw filament yarns are spun into yarn and ultimately woven into a variety of different fabrics
- This includes 100% RPET and eco-friendly blends including cotton, spandex, viscose, wool etc.
Almost every product has a manufacturing process that consumes energy and water, and produces carbon dioxide emissions and as such has an environmental impact.
Using RPET instead of regular polyester we use:
- 70% less Energy
- 86% less Water
- 75% less CO2
Using RPP instead of regular polypropylene we use:
- 88% less Energy
- 46% less Water
- 71% less CO2
In order to reduce the waste, we all have to make responsible decisions about which materials to use. For example, if we use five pounds of RPET yarn to make Waste2Wear fabric we can:
- Save one full gallon of gasoline
- Save enough water to provide drinking water to one person for five days
- Save the amount of greenhouse gas emitted while driving a hybrid car for almost 15 miles
A wide range of different textile products can be made from recycled fabrics:
- Bags and packaging
- Fashion apparel and accessories
- Corporate uniforms
- School uniforms
- Medical wear
- Hospitality products
- Hard products including recycled food containers and drinking water bottles plus recycled plastic playing cards
We are constantly working on new developments. If you have questions about possibilities contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Polyester garments can be recycled indefinitely through a chemical process that breaks down polyester to its basic components (PTA + EG). These components can later on be re-polymerized to create RPET again. This process can be repeated indefinitely as the chemically recycled polymer has the same attributes as virgin materials. This is different with the traditional mechanical recycling (melt and extrude) that only can go through a certain amount of cycles due to material degradation. However, at this moment, the companies with the technology to do so are in a stage in which the level of efficiency and scale makes the process still quite expensive.
There are at the same time several very promising initiatives in Asia and in Europe from which we have partnered with some of them to collaborate and define value chains beyond end-of-life cycles of garments. We will publish our progress through our site and social channels.
In most cases bottles are collected from residential and commercial compounds as well as coastal areas by small cooperatives, and sold to certified collection centers. These facilities operate under a Renewable Resources Management Business License issued by the local government.
Important note: Plastic bottles used in the fabrics are not taken from landfills but diverted before they arrive there. This prevents the unsafe labor conditions of landfill waste picking and ensures proper compensation for the collectors.
Current worldwide demand for textile fibers is over 100 million tonnes per year and synthetic fabrics account for more than 50% of this consumption. Trying to replace synthetic fibers with cotton would have an immense environmental impact.
Natural fibers like cotton, when compared with synthetic fibers, present advantages in terms of waste production due to the biodegradability of both their discarded textiles and their micro-fibers. However, cotton has a very intensive resource consumption, mainly in terms of water and land degradation, due to the use of insecticides and herbicides. The cultivation and production of 1 kg of cotton requires on average 20,000 liters of water and some experts indicate that cotton is the largest user of water among all the agricultural commodities.
RPET fabric has a 50% lower carbon footprint than organic cotton. Furthermore, compared with other synthetic fibres, RPET polyester fabric has almost a 90% lower carbon footprint than nylon, and 75% lower than polyester