Polyester is one of the most widely used fibres in the world of fast fashion. Its low cost has made it one of the most widely used fibres in the industry, and the fact that it is so cheap is probably the biggest culprit when it comes to the high environmental cost of fashion.
In this blog, we explore how Recycled Polyester performs versus virgin polyester in terms of quality and technical y in sustainability. We will also look at why it is our first choice for making our first outdoor accessories and how it can help us create a positive impact.
What is polyester?
Polyester, the most common form of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), is a synthetic fibre made from a synthetic fibre, man-made derived from a chemical reaction between petroleum, air y water. It is cheap and versatile and for that reason has become an almost permanent alternative in fashion.
However, it is a synthetic fibre that comes from a non-renewable source (oil). If we consider that the petroleum industry is one of the world's largest biggest polluters in the world and contributes to climate change, polyester begins to look less than sustainable. What's more, polyester is not biodegradableIt could take up to 200 years up to 200 years to decompose completely, polluting the planet and its oceans.
What is the best alternative to virgin polyester?
When we started building Namubak, we were clear that we wanted to use only natural fibres made from sustainable and biodegradable materials, however we wanted to expand our product range and produce accessories that help people explore.
We are well aware of the current the current global plastic pollution emergency and we did not want to introduce new polluting we did not want to introduce new polluting materials into the environment. That is why after months of research, we came to the conclusion that the best alternative to virgin polyester currently available on the market is Recycled Polyester (also called rPET).
Our research has shown that recycled polyester has many benefits in terms of both technical attributes and sustainability. To understand these benefits, let's explain what recycled polyester is and how it is produced.
How is recycled polyester made?
Recycled PET, rPET is a material obtained from the recycling of leftover materials. It comes mostly from the recycling of PET bottles and, to a lesser extent, from industrial polyester or clothing waste.
Due to the tons and tons of PET waste in the world today, PET recycling is vital for the planet.
Recycled polyester has the same consistency, elasticity, abrasion resistance, moisture expulsion y colour fastness as virgin polyester. However, due to its production process, it is infinitely more sustainable and environmentally friendly. more sustainable and environmentally friendly than virgin polyester, which is why we chose to use it in the manufacture of our new Dry Bags and Hats.
By using recycled polyester, we are saving natural resources. Instead of introducing new oil into the environment, we are able to save just over a litre of oil for every kilo of recycled material.
The use of post-consumer recycled polyester also allows us to reduce the amount of plastic waste. reduce the amount of plastic waste in the environment. We can turn one kilo of collected waste - ocean plastic - into one kilo of recycled material.
Last but not least, the use of recycled polyester saves energy throughout all production processes by 50% compared compared to virgin polyester and generates 70% less CO2 emissions2 .. With CO2 being a major contributor to the greenhouse effect and climate change, we believe it is fundamentally important to reduce emissions as much as we can.
What certificates exist for recycled garments?
The world's leading quality label for recycled garments is the Global Recycled Standard or GRS. It is an international and voluntary product certificate. In the case of recycled polyester, it guarantees that the fabric of the garment comes from plastic bottles and in the case of recycled cotton that it comes from cutting waste or leftover material.
It also implies compliance with both social and environmental criteria. In the environmental field it determines the absence of certain toxic additives in the garments and good waste water management. On the social front, it ensures compliance with decent working conditions for factory workers.
In the textile industry, more and more brands are opting for the creation of collections of garments or products made from recycled polyester. Brands such as Patagonia, The North Face and Nike are some of the companies that have chosen to add this material to their products. That is why we decided to implement this recycled material in our new rPET collection.