Not everything that glitters is gold
So recycling polyester and making it reusable sounds like a great idea.
1. Plastics don't end up in garbage and landfills, but get a new purpose. This helps to reduce the mountains of plastic waste in a meaningful way.
2. Plastic from the oceans is collected and recycled. This is how the seas can be cleaned.
3. Recycled PET is nearly as good as virgin PET, but requires far fewer resources and 59% less energy to produce.
4. And the most important point: Recycled polyester is independent of petroleum.
Recycling = Awesome!
It should come as no surprise to you that plastic waste is a huge, global problem.
Due to its versatility, however, polyester can be found everywhere and is now the most important chemical fiber in the world - and therefore indispensable.
Around 60% of the polyester produced is processed into textiles.
The advantages are obvious. It can be processed into a variety of different products, is very durable and super hard-wearing. In particular, functional and sportswear have special requirements that cotton, for example, cannot meet.
However, these advantages have serious consequences for our environment and thus also for our health.
Polyester is not biodegradable. Although the microparticles become smaller and smaller over time, they cannot be completely broken down.
Polyester consists of PET and this is made from petroleum. This is super energy intensive and uses a lot of water.
In the extraction of petroleum, an incredible number of toxic liquids are also used, which get into the water and groundwater. Environmental destruction and oil production go hand in hand.
In addition, there are only limited deposits of petroleum and these resources will eventually be exhausted. LINK
How eco-friendly is recycled polyester really?
Unfortunately, recycled polyester does not only bring benefits.
1. For example, polyester cannot be recycled endlessly. At some point the limit is reached and it has to be disposed of again - but by then the amount of plastic waste had been significantly reduced
2. Polyester is often used in mixed forms. This is more difficult to recycle because the materials have to be separated from each other. The technology for this is not yet mature, but is constantly being further developed.
3. Even washing recycled polyester still releases microplastics during washing.
4. Chemicals that are harmful to the environment may be used in the further processing of the materials (cleaning, dyeing). Because different materials are used in recycling, different colors are sometimes required for coloring. This in turn leads to higher use of resources and can also lead to surrounding water pollution.
So always pay attention to how transparent the company deals with the topic of recycling, what information it provides and whether it can prove certain certificates at this point.
I can guarantee that all of our products are marked with the GRS seal (find out what that means here) .
This ensures compliance with important social and ecological criteria such as reasonable working conditions, sustainable disposal of waste water and the avoidance of toxic additives.
Recycled polyester has some very important advantages over "regular" polyester.
I would therefore recommend that you always check whether recycled polyester has been used when buying new clothing.
Nevertheless, we have to say that recycled polyester is definitely an upgrade and a step in the right direction when it comes to sustainability - at the end of the journey, however, we are far from there and we have to continue working on innovative alternatives will.