How Plastic Can Be Turned into Fabric

How Plastic Can Be Turned into Fabric

If you’re familiar with our recycled leather handbags and card case, you’ve probably seen that our fabric lining is made from recycled plastic water bottles.

You may have been thinking, what is this sorcery?

Yes, it’s possible to make fabric from plastic, and thank goodness! It’s not only an eco-responsible choice, but it’s also durable and easy to care for. Let’s chat about how the magic is made.

Step 1: Recycling

We couldn’t leave out the process of recycling. All the plastic you recycle gets gathered, compacted, and shipped to a recycling center.

Step 2: Sorting

Next, the recycled plastic is sorted to be sure it’s all usable. Then, it’s sorted by color. Clear bottles will make a white polyester yarn.

Step 3: Preparing

The plastic is then cut into flakes and cleaned to remove any impurities. The flakes are stretched and cut again to form PET pellets.

Step 4: Making Fibers (a.k.a., the Fun Part)The PET pellets are heated and stretched into tiny fibers, like very fine threads. These threads are spun into a yarn that is white and fluffy. From there, the fibers are smoothed, dyed, and woven to create fabric.

And there you have it, polyester fabric made from recycled plastic! It’s identical to traditional polyester, and a whole lot more eco-friendly.

Let’s also talk about exactly how recycled plastic fabric helps the environment.

  • Plastic (PET) is manufactured from crude oil, which, when extracted, contributes to soil pollution.
  • It takes approximately 700 years for PET plastic to break down in soil.
  • Reusing plastic reduces the need to manufacture new plastic and it avoids existing plastic ending up in landfills. A double win!
  • Repurposing plastic takes less than 50% of energy as creating new plastic.

 We hope our mini lesson on recycled plastic inspires you to check out sustainable and eco-responsible fashion brands (like us) and to always recycle. There’s a new life just waiting out there for your discarded plastic!