Polyester and the Rise of End-of-Life Recycled Fibers

Polyester and the Rise of End-of-Life Recycled Fibers
March 8, 2024 Sabine Schoenberg

In recent years, the fashion industry has undergone a paradigm shift towards sustainability, with a growing emphasis on eco-friendly materials and production processes. Among the materials at the forefront of this movement is polyester, a synthetic fiber that has evolved to meet the demands of a more environmentally conscious, healthy living-focused consumer base.

Ever Wider Use of Polyester in Fabrics

Brands across the fashion spectrum are increasingly incorporating recycled textiles including recycled polyester into their collections. From sportswear giants to high-end fashion houses, the use of recycled polyester has become a symbol of commitment to sustainability.

The Polyester Predicament

Polyester, a petroleum-derived synthetic fiber, has long been criticized for its environmental impact. Its production involves the use of fossil fuels and produces greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to climate change. Additionally, polyester fabrics are not biodegradable, leading to concerns about their contribution to the ever-growing issue of textile waste.

Recycled Polyester – A Second Life for Fashion

Recycled polyester is created by collecting post-consumer plastic bottles or post-industrial waste, breaking them down into pellets, and then transforming these pellets into new polyester fibers. This closed-loop process not only diverts plastic from landfills and oceans but also reduces the need for virgin polyester production.

Many fashion brands are recognizing the importance of incorporating end-of-life recycled fibers into their designs. Circular fashion initiatives, which promote the recycling and upcycling of garments, are gaining popularity. Brands are not only adopting these fibers in their production processes but also encouraging consumers to return old garments for recycling.

End-of-Life Recycled Fibers – Closing the Loop

End-of-life recycled fibers take sustainability a step further by addressing the issue of textile waste. These innovative fibers are designed to be recycled at the end of their life cycle, creating a circular economy that minimizes environmental impact. Ecotextile News reports that the LA-based company

“… Ambercycle uses enzyemes to break down polyester into environmentally benign monomers for its “cycora” branded Polyester.”

Collaborations – Athleta, Gap Inc’s brand, and Ambercycle

Collaborations between fashion brands and recycling facilities are on the rise. These partnerships aim to streamline the recycling process, making it more efficient and scalable. By working together, the industry can create a more sustainable and circular approach to fashion production.

Revolutionizing Fashion Sustainability

Kudos to Athleta for using reconstituted end-of-life polyester fibers in their fitness gear.

Shout out to all women interested in living a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.  Buying Athleta yoga fashion is one example of how we can all make choices that support a more sustainable way of living.

Buying Athleta yoga gear is YOUR  clear statement that we, as consumers, can select and therefore support more planet-aligned products and lifestyles!

More Sustainable Product Choices

For other available product choices in our lives, and specifically for your home & garden check out the creatives on SHGLiving. From Tiny House Expedition to Ashley Renne’s Sustainable Home and Matt’s Rise, Sustainability for Your Home, and more.  Be entertained and informed all at the same time.