Recycled Polyester – What’s all the hoo-ha about?
Often when we’re talking about fabric the word polyester brings to mind cheap, sweat inducing material that we would expect from the throw away fashion brands of the world but here’s why recycled polyester is so remarkably different.
Straight up polyester, the synthetic fibre that man created with the best of intentions is proving to be environmental enemy number 1. Creating Polyester uses huge amounts of water, energy and fossil fuels, the results are toxins that pollute our water, the environment and overflow landfill.
Recycled polyester on the other hand uses PET (Polyethylene terephthalate)- an already existing material broken down from post consumer recycled plastic bottles, re-purposing them before they end up in landfill and the ocean. Recycled plastic products reduce co2 emissions by 70% and recycled polyester fabric uses 90% less water than regular polyester. 1kg of recycled polyester can keep 60 water bottles out of landfill and our oceans. Using recycled polyester also reduces our dependency on petroleum as the raw material for fabric. Keeping these plastic bottles out of landfill reduces pollution, stops toxins being released from incinerators and reduces the choking of our marine life and the plastic entering our food chain.
It's not all plain sailing though and we want to give you the facts and both sides of the argument. Recycled Polyester is still plastic and it still will never degrade and disappear. Each time plastic is heated it degenerates, so the subsequent iteration of the polymer is degraded and the plastic must be used to make lower quality products each time. So it cannot be infinitely recycled.
With a swimwear fabric we are limited on our options, especially with men’s swimwear as we can’t use absorbent, stretchy, clingy fabrics for obvious reasons. For example organic cotton is water absorbent and would fall apart with repeated underwater use. There is also the issue of the shear quantities of water and land involved in organic cotton production. For now we have to turn to man-made fibres for swimwear and aim as sustainably high as possible and push for continuous innovation in the fabrics of our future.
Ultimately we need to stop producing plastic in the first place. Bottled water companies don’t make water, they make plastic bottles and the government needs to implement bans and restrictions. At Mangata HQ we have been petitioning for the introduction of water dispensers in shops and supermarkets. Those big brands can still supply the water but you would pay to fill up your reusable bottle with spring water rather than buying a single use plastic bottle of water. Surely the companies save on packaging costs and the environments pollution level would be dramatically reduced. Everyone’s a winner. If you agree please sign our petition here
We can’t make the plastic in existence disappear but we can reuse it for something beautiful and purposeful, that’s why at Mangata London we are proud to be using our super soft, durable, quick drying recycled polyester fabric that stops plastic bottles filling our oceans and poisoning our planet.