Skip to main content

How do they turn plastic bottles into activewear?

How do they turn plastic bottles into activewear?

Recycled polyester gives a second life to a material that’s not biodegradable and would otherwise end up in landfill or the ocean. Around 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean every year, adding to the estimated 150 million tons that currently circulate in our oceans. If we keep this pace, by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.

As for landfill, the EU's landfills received 26 million tons of plastic in 2015 alone. 275,000 tonnes of plastic are used each year in the UK, that’s about 15 million bottles per day. Sustainable activewear, such as Wolven’s Leggings, Sundried’s Tops, or Girlfriend Collectives Hummingbird Jacket, are made using recycled polyester (RPET). RPET derives from PET bottles (the plastic bottles clogging up our oceans and landfill sites). All polyester (recycled or not) is derived from this type of plastic. 25 PET bottles are diverted from landfill, and used to manufacture each pair of Girlfriend Collective’s pocket leggings. But how exactly are these bottles turned into sportswear?

-Waste is collected after being placed in the correct bin/container by the consumer – us!

-The bottles are first separated from other recycling waste and crushed together to form bales. Imagine square hay bales, but made of plastic bottles.

-The bale is then broken down and by machines which remove anything that has been wrongly placed in the bales.

-The bottles are then separated into clear and coloured bottles which are finely crushed, and then washed to remove any labels and excess. The pieces of PET will float on the surface while any remaining nasties will sink.

-The PET flakes are then dried and chopped again to create PET pellets. This is the point where the PET can be distributed to different causes, such as insulation, or in our case, sportswear and clothing.

-The next step is to heat and stretch the pellets into very fine fibres which are then tied together, creating a polyester yarn. The fiber will be smoothed, stretched out and placed on a large reel, ready to be sent to brands, like the ones Squareco stock.

-Our brands will then receive the reels of RPET and dye it to the colours they see fit. This material is exactly the same as if it were made from regular polyester, yet it was made using existing waste, rather than crude oil and virgin PET.

Your Cart

Your cart is currently empty.
Click here to continue shopping.
Thanks for contacting us! We'll get back to you shortly. Thanks for subscribing Thanks! We will notify you when it becomes available! The max number of items have already been added There is only one item left to add to the cart There are only [num_items] items left to add to the cart