New, or virgin polyester has been the most in demand material for sports and cycling wear because it is comfortable, elastic, highly moisture wicking, abrasion resistant, holds its shape, provides UV protection, is colour fast and easy to care for. Basically, everything we look for when purchasing athletic clothing.
However, virgin polyester is a man made synthetic fibre – essentially a form of plastic, derived from petroleum that is neither biodegradable nor sustainable. The petroleum industry is one of the world’s greatest polluters and contributors to carbon emissions (global warming) and plastic is destroying our planet by choking our oceans, waterways and landfill with toxic waste.
Recycled polyester fabrics are made entirely or partly from recycled product including pre-consumer waste from manufacture and post-consumer waste such as plastic bottles, fishing net and discarded clothing. In simple terms, these products are washed, shredded and melted down into pellets to be spun into yarn for weaving.
The production of recycled polyester uses significantly less energy and water and causes less environmental contamination and carbon emissions than the production of virgin polyester. Recycled polyester has all of the technical attributes of its virgin counterpart, with no compromise to performance or durability.
While recycled polyester is still a plastic by-product and can’t undo past damage, its production helps to reduce petroleum dependence for new raw material; reclaims plastic waste; and promotes new paths for discarded polyester clothing and other plastic products.