Let’s begin with regular polyester, one of the apparel and accessories industry's favorite materials. Polyester is popular because it resists stretch and wrinkles, provides flexibility and comfort, doesn’t shrink, and is easy to wash and wear. It’s easily blended with cotton and wool and can pack serious durability and weather resistance. However, these qualities come with a significant cost. Polyester is not biodegradable. It’s made from crude oil, which tops the charts as the most polluting industry in the world. Similarly, polyester dyes are far from environmentally friendly—in fact, they’re toxic to humans. Lastly, the process of creating polyester is energy-intensive and requires large quantities of water.
Like traditional polyester, recycled polyester is a man-made fabric produced from synthetic fibers. However, instead of utilizing new materials to craft the fabric, recycled polyester makes use of existing plastic. In many cases, those existing plastics are your old water bottles, which are then processed and transformed into products that carry the same characteristics of virgin polyester. Basically, recycled poly gives you the same end use but skips the polluting, energy and water-intensive process of starting from scratch. We are such big fans of recycled poly that we designed an entire bag line around it.