Is recycled polyester eco responsible ?
Organic and eco-friendly materials and fabrics are becoming increasingly popular with the textile industry and consumers. Both can be very interesting for the production of eco-friendly clothing, although with some differences in terms of production and resource use in their manufacture. In this article we will explore the differences between these two types of fibres, their advantages and disadvantages, and examine the best applications for each.
The differences between man-made and natural fibres
Synthetic fibres are man-made fibres made from unnatural raw materials such as polyester, nylon and spandex. These are the fibres that we at Pamuuc use in some of our products, which are of course recycled, but can also be used in furniture and other consumer products. They are not made by our planet, but directly by man for various reasons. Natural fibres, as the name suggests, come directly from plants or animals. Cotton, silk, linen and wool are examples of natural fibres that are widely used in the textile industry. At Pamuuc we focus on organic cotton and most of our products have a high percentage of this material.
Why is organic cotton different
Organic cotton is the environmentally responsible alternative to conventional cotton as we know it today. It is produced under much stricter regulations that exclude the use of chemicals, pesticides and artificial fertilisers that contribute to soil and water contamination and are harmful to our health. Organic cotton is also much softer and more breathable than conventional cotton and provides better insulation from heat and cold than synthetic fibres. Sustainability is another strong point, as it requires much less water and energy to produce.
The polyester recycling process
The recycling of synthetic polyester fibre always starts with the sorting of recyclable materials to ensure that they are clean and free from contaminants such as heavy metals and hazardous chemicals. After this first step, recycled materials such as polyester are ground into very small pieces to make them easier to process into yarns or fibres to make fabric. In a process called spinning, the recycled polyester yarn is created and stretched to the perfect size for its intended use. The resulting yarns are then joined together to form recycled polyester fabric that can be used to make clothing, household products or furniture.
Why is polyester green?
Recycled polyester is considered an environmentally friendly material because it is made from raw materials that can be recycled many times without any loss of yarn quality and without much impact on the environment. In fact, recycled polyester can be recycled many times without limit, it is an extremely durable material compared to other synthetic fibres and can be used for longer periods of time before being replaced by new material. It is much less polluting than other synthetic fibres as it does not contain any harmful chemicals that could end up in the air or water.
The impact of polyester on the planet
Despite its ecological potential, polyester unfortunately has a significant impact on the environment if care is not taken to implement measures to minimise this impact. The production of polyester requires a lot of water and also creates toxic waste that can contaminate the air or land if not properly treated before being released into the environment. Polyester contributes to the greenhouse effect as parts of the manufacturing process release carbon dioxide which contributes to global warming. Therefore, it is important that we are aware of the risks associated with the mass production of polyester and take steps to reduce its impact on our fragile planet.
To conclude, synthetic and natural fibres are very versatile materials that gift a variety of benefits to consumers. Not only are they durable and gift superior performance, but they are also more environmentally friendly than their synthetic counterparts. Natural and synthetic fibres are therefore an excellent choice for consumers looking for products that are both durable and environmentally friendly.