Fashion is fluid and dynamic, and the clothing industry is always looking for the next big thing, with new interpretations, materials and textures introduced to the public every season. One of the fastest-growing trends is recycled clothing.
It is more than just reusing old pieces, or taking offcuts to create new items. It is the technique of processing rubbish, such as plastic and glass that you throw away, to manufacture your favourite fashions and help the environment.
Plastic is one of the most prolific types of waste. It is extremely hard to break down, so the best way to reduce landfill and make use of the material is by melting and repurposing it. The fashion industry does this by making our unwanted plastic into polyester yarn. Plastic bottles are among the most common items repurposed for the yarn, as most of them are clear so make the best base for dyeing.
The process of recycling bottles can vary, but the plastic is usually shredded and turned into pellets. This way, any liquid left over in the bottle can be removed, as moisture can be detrimental to the process.
Shreds of plastic are sorted based on their colours. Clear bottles create white thread, which can be dyed. Yarn produced from blue and green bottles can be harder to dye, so is often used for ‘denim’ and other colour-appropriate clothing.
The pellets are then melted and spun into polyester yarn. This is normally done by flowing the molten plastic into small holes to make filaments. It is then torn into a fluffy substance and changed into the stronger polyester thread, in a technique similar to cotton production.
After dyeing, the spools of coloured yarn are knitted or woven to produce fabric, which is then sold to garment manufacturers.
Now you understand on the process of how recycling Plastic Bottles into clothing is possible, let’s come together to make our Earth beautiful by supporting brands that make a difference.