You may have noticed new labels popping up at some of your favorite clothing brands. Things like “Made from Recycled Polyester” or “Made from rPET”. But what exactly does that mean?
It’s all part of the 2020 Circular Fashion System Commitment which was signed back in 2007 at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit. 90 companies, representing 12.5% of the global fashion market, signed and committed to focus on four key areas of circular fashion: design, collection, reuse and recycling.
The purpose of the commitment is to transition from the unsustainable linear textile system to a circular textile system.
With clothing being manufactured, bought, used, and discarded, the fashion industry has been one of the biggest offenders to pollution.
But the Fashion Industry is waking up! From Fast Fashion and Fitness to Luxury Brands the fashion industry is making some super GREEN changes.
H&M has the Conscious Collection, Zara has the Join Life Collection. Luxury brands such as Gucci, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, and more are utilizing recycled materials. Fitness brand Nike has the Move To Zero Movement where apparel labeled “Sustainable Materials” is made with at least 50% recycled content and shoes with the same label are made with at least 20% recycled content.
The new circular textile system aims to collect all used fibres, repurpose, reuse, and recycle them. The goal is to transform the textile industry from a producer of greenhouse gas emissions accounting for more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined to a sustainable and ethical business.
When it comes to textiles polyester is the bad boy. It’s the single biggest polluter yet nearly HALF of the world’s clothing is made from polyester. With so much polyester being produced it’s a no-brainer that we need to try to lessen it’s footprint on the planet.
What is Polyester?
Polyester is a type of plastic made from petroleum. It was developed in the 40s, created from the reaction of chemical components. Back then, it was a groundbreaking fabric that matched the need for efficiently made and cheap materials. Durable, stretchy, easy to take care of it became wildly popular in the 70s. We use it like crazy in our everyday lives. Just look down at the leggings you are probably wearing, they are polyester.
Recycled polyester, also known as rPET, is obtained by melting down existing plastic and re-spinning it into new polyester fiber. It gives a second life to a material that’s not biodegradable and would otherwise end up in landfill or the ocean.
Recycled polyester not only contributes to the reduction of petroleum extraction, but it also consumes less energy than the regular method. Which allows for a much longer life-cycle of the garment. Since the recycling process can be repeated instead of disposing of unwanted garments, it lessens the environmental impact that comes with garment waste.
Totally avoiding polyester is nearly impossible so keeping an eye out for these new labels and making a conscious effort to purchase pieces made with recycled Polyester you are helping to keep the circularity of fashion going!
It doesn’t stop there. This bad boy of fashion may have cleaned up his act a bit but he still carries some baggage. Remember to wash your polyester pieces (even recycled ones) in bags like the Guppy Friend to limit the amount of micro plastics slipping out into our oceans!
What I’m Wearing: Blouse and Skirt from Zara Join Life Collection | Anthropologie Coat | Dior Saddlebag | Hue Tights| Inc Boots|