Recycled polyester fibers bring a new light to the world

The development and application of recycled polyester fibers in the world are in full swing, and the market demand is rapidly expanding. Fashion brand Burlington Group has released a new generation of sustainable fabric known as ReGenesis, which is made from recycled bottles polyester yarn. The consumer market is aimed at outdoor sports enthusiasts who support environmental activities.

Seaqual Marine Recycling Company Concept and its Denim Products.Source: Bangladesh Denim Times Nov. 2017

The ReGenesis series is a collaboration with Burlington Group, Japan’s Teijin, and Spain’s Seaqual (a Spanish company that recycles marine plastic waste to regenerate them into polyester fibers, see Fig. 1) to jointly develop the sports fabrics. They developed the sports fabrics by using a variety of innovative recycled materials, and then provide the consumer market with a more diversified choice of regenerated materials.

Burlington Technology’s Business Development Department said that at least 30% of every functional fabric in the ReGenesis series is made from recycled materials. It hopes to help consumers to choose sustainable materials through their consumption. The products are produced from environmentally friendly facilities to join-hand in reducing environmental footprint and impact.

Japan’s Teijin has already successfully developed the Eco Circle polyester recycling system (see Fig. 2). It has already realized the idea of ​​polyester recycling and fully reused it very early, allowing full utilization of used and discarded polyester garments to be reborn. Teijin’s Eco Circle innovative method can separate or remove additives and dyes from garments, and then restore the recycled polyester to its original quality and physical properties through a purification process.

Japan’s Teijin Eco Circle polyester recycling system.Source: Japan’s Teijin website

Burlington also stressed that to recover the plastic waste in the ocean, the polyester fiber produced by the Spanish Seaqual has always claimed to use 100% discarded PET bottles, and the plastic waste cleared from the Mediterranean as raw materials. Furthermore, even the sewing threads used are also made from 93~95% recycled polyester and 3~7% of marine plastic waste.

Burlington is also cooperating with American & Efird to promote ReGenesis shirts, which are made from using Burlington’s ReGenesis fabrics and A&E’s recycled functional sewing threads, hoping to produce shirts that can achieve 100% sustainability.

Unifi, a large US manufacturer of recycled polyester fibers also expressed its desire to develop innovative functional products based on its own recycled polyester fiber brand Repreve. It anticipates that its innovative functional products incorporated with new technological R&D will attract more attention from consumers. Among the functional features are thermal energy regulation, extreme cushioning, moisture absorption, wicking and other functions with significant coverage and quality.

Application of recycled materials will become a trend

Textile Exchange, organized by the global non-profit organization, announced in 2017 that there are currently 59 companies (see Fig. 3) committed to increasing the consumption volume of recycled polyester through its Recycled Polyester Working Group. The purpose is to increase the consumption volume to 25% by 2020. Among them, the international sports brand manufacturer, Adidas said in July 2018 that one of the company’s top priorities is to use sustainable polyester recycled materials. Its “ultimate goal” is that each of its products would achieve in using 100% recycled polyester materials by 2024. According to reports, 41% of the company’s 2019 spring apparel products are made from recycled polyester.