Creating sustainable activewear in the fashion industry is being focussed on off late. The latest development to come out of this includes converting plastic bottles into a pair of sports leggings. On hearing that, quite a few questions are raised in our minds. What is recycled polyester? And, how is plastic transformed into a pair of sports leggings? Here’s how!
Recycled polyester is the term used to describe polyester produced from plastic waste, right from plastic water bottles to plastic bags. These discarded plastic wastes are processed with the latest advanced technology to produce recycled polyester.
This technology is still in its infant stage, and research on how to improve the technology is currently being worked on. According to experts and researchers, only a small percentage of all clothing is recycled. Due to this most of the recycled polyester produced today is made from downcycled plastic.
Process of turning Plastic into Recycled Polyester
5 general steps are followed by companies to manufacture recycled polyester. This polyester in turn can be used to manufacture a pair of sports leggings or high-waisted sports shorts. Let us take a quick look at the steps that are to be followed.
Step 1: Collect Plastic Waste
Plastic wastes are collected or bought from oceans, landfills, and cities. The ocean, sadly, is one of the largest sources of plastic wastes. So while taking out the plastic wastes from these water bodies, one must ensure that the marine life is not harmed in the process. The plastic waste is then sent to a plastic processing factory to manufacture the polymer that makes the high-waisted sports shorts and other athleisure wear.
Step 2: Break Down the Plastic Wastes
Once the plastic wastes reach the plastic processing factory, they are separated and processed through a chopping machine. These machines convert these wastes into small chips. The chunkier plastic wastes are re-processed to convert them into smaller components.
Step 3: Melt the Small Chips
The chips that were produced must now be melted with the aid of a melting machine. The plastic chips are exposed to high temperatures. After melting them, the mixture is filtered to remove any type of impurity that may still exist in it. This ensures the quality of the sports leggings is not compromised.
Step 4: Spin the Mixture into a Yarn
After melting and filtering the mixture, the plastic will have to undergo a spinning process. In this process, the yarn of choice is weaved following which it is passed onto the weaving unit.
Step 5: Weave the Recycled Polyester into Fabric
The polyester produced in the previous step is then woven into fabric. This fabric can be used to create any type of apparel, right from a pair of sports leggings to sports crop tops.
As residents of this planet, it is our responsibility to do our bit by wearing sustainable apparel. If you are confused about where to start your journey in this regard, start by buying a pair of sports leggings made out of recycled polyester, from brands like JRSY, and join the green movement today!