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Recycled Polyester

Updated: Apr 3, 2022

One person's trash is another person's treasure.

Get to know a little more about our new collection and learn about the greatness of this eco-friendly fiber.

The textile and clothing industry has reached a turning point during the past few years that has only accelerated with the pandemic. And sustainability has become a crucial part of said change. Although many people believe sustainability is a (temporary) trend, it has actually become a necessity in the fashion world and all other industries in general.

To address this shift, both brands and consumers have opted for new ways of producing and consuming, respectively. Businesses have started to adopt alternative materials that are eco-friendly, as well as making changes inside their production chain that benefit both the environment and the workers. Consumers, on the other hand, are beginning to understand the importance of their choices: they are comprehending that their actions have consequences and that they can actually make a change when shopping more consciously.

At The Wild Dirt, we have committed to being part of this new age of sustainable fashion. As an outdoor apparel brand, we are determined to stay faithful to our surroundings by creating a line of products that is in equilibrium with both the people and the planet. We are working diligently to launch thoughtful items such as T-shirts, baseball hats, multifunctional poncho and blankets, and modular backpacks –all made with our recycled polyester–. But what is it that makes this fiber such a great option?

About recycled polyester

This fiber, also known as rRPET, is made from recycled plastic bottles. It’s considered a sustainable fiber because its production requires fewer resources than what's needed to produce virgin polyester. It actually saves up between 33% and 53% energy and, as a consequence, it generates less CO2 emissions.

Build for adventure, used every day.

Check out our new T-Shirts made with at least 5 recycled polyester bottles!

There are two ways to recycle polyester: through mechanical recycling or through chemical recycling. In the first one, the plastic is melted to make new yarn, while the second one breaks down the plastic molecules to reform them into new yarn. Both are possible, yet they can involve certain disadvantages as well. Mechanical recycling can make the fiber lose its quality after it has been done a few times. And chemical recycling protects the quality, but it is quite expensive.

From all fibers in the world, only a small proportion equals natural fibers, while the remaining are all synthetics. And around 70% of them are made from polyester or more specifically, polyethylene terephthalate, also known as PET. Contrary to what many people believe, PET production is mainly used to make fibers for the textile industry and only 30% is used to make bottles. Each year the industry uses about 104 million barrels of oil for PET production –that’s 70 million barrels just to produce the virgin polyester used in fabrics!

Let’s talk benefits

Those eye-opening numbers are the reason why using recycled bottles to make rPET has become so popular. It prevents the bottles from ending up in landfills or the oceans and therefore it also helps reduce the toxic emissions from incinerators. As well as it reduces the industry’s consumption of oil and contributes to lessening the extraction of natural gas from the Earth to make even more plastic.

According to Fashion United, “five soda bottles yield enough fiber for one extra large T-shirt”. How shocking is that? Recycled polyester has become a greener, sustainable alternative and the opportunity –together with other recycled fibers– to lower our dependence on petroleum as a source of raw materials. This fiber can be used for a variety of products and blends perfectly with natural fabrics, such as cotton.

Recycled polyester sums up everything we were looking for and allows us to stand by our beliefs. That is creating recreational equipment and outdoor apparel that not only protects the Earth but also respects it. We designed in nature and for nature. Using this fiber also lets us manufacture lightweight products, which is great for activities and travelling in the wild. In addition, the materials are not only light, but they can dry faster than other garments.

Join us on this path through slow fashion and ecological lifestyle, and discover our latest collection. Remember it takes time to change the world, but “one step at a time is all it takes to get you there” –Emily Dickinson.

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