Did you know that the fashion industry is one of the largest contributors to global waste? It is estimated that nearly 101 million tons of clothing end up in landfills every year. This alarming statistic has led many fashion brands to rethink their production processes and embrace sustainability.
One such solution gaining popularity is the use of plastic yarns, made from recycled plastic waste, to create sustainable clothing.
Over the years, the fashion industry has been heavily reliant on synthetic fibres such as polyester, which are derived from fossil fuels and take hundreds of years to decompose. This has led to an alarming increase in textile waste.
But now, a silver lining has emerged in the form of recycled plastic yarns or rPET (recycled polythene terephthalate), which are made from discarded plastic bottles.
The rise of recycled fashion
Recycled fashion is gaining momentum in the global market as consumers become more conscious about their environmental footprint.
Some brands which have started incorporating recycled plastic yarns into their clothing lines are as follows:
- Adidas, introduced its “Primeblue” line, made from recycled ocean plastic, in partnership with Parley for the Oceans. The initiative aims to raise awareness about marine pollution while creating high-quality sportswear.
- H&M launched its “Conscious Exclusive” collection made from recycled polyester in 2010. The collection features elegant and stylish garments created using innovative techniques that transform plastic waste into fashionable attire. H&M’s commitment to sustainability has also led to its partnership with organizations like Textile Exchange and Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Make Fashion Circular initiative.
- Apart from well-established brands, several startups in India are also focusing on sustainable and ethical clothing. One such example is Doodlage, which creates trendy outfits using fabric scraps and recycled materials. Their unique designs are not only eco-friendly but also celebrate individuality and creativity.
The process behind plastic yarn production
The process of creating plastic yarn from discarded bottles involves several steps.
- The bottles are collected and sorted based on their colour. This is important because different colours may result in variations in the final product.
- The bottles are then cleaned, crushed, and shredded into small flakes. These flakes undergo a melting and extrusion process to form long strands of plastic filament.
- Finally, these filaments are spun into yarn that can be used for manufacturing sustainable clothing items.
The advantages of using plastic yarns
Using recycled plastic yarns for clothing production offers numerous advantages in terms of sustainability and environmental preservation:
- Reduction of plastic waste: The process of transforming plastic bottles into yarn helps reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills or oceans. Approximately 56% of plastic waste is left uncollected, leading to severe environmental consequences. Adopting recycled plastic yarns can significantly contribute to reducing this waste.
- Energy and resource conservation: Creating synthetic fibres from virgin materials consumes large amounts of energy and resources. On the other hand, producing yarn from recycled plastic requires significantly less energy and water, thereby conserving valuable resources and reducing carbon emissions.
- Lower carbon footprint: Polyester production is responsible for a considerable amount of greenhouse gas emissions. However, by utilizing recycled plastic yarns, fashion brands can reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to the fight against climate change.
- Durability and quality: Contrary to popular belief, clothing made from recycled plastic yarns can be just as durable and high-quality as garments made from virgin polyester. The recycling process ensures that the fibres are properly treated and result in a fabric that is soft, comfortable, and long-lasting.
It is crucial for businesses in the fashion industry to explore alternative materials and production methods that align with sustainability principles. The use of plastic yarns derived from recycled bottles is a significant step in the right direction.
Do you want to incorporate sustainable material sourcing practices for your fashion brand? Check out Recykal Marketplace.
Together, we can make a difference in creating a greener and more responsible fashion industry. So why wait? Take action now!