Recycled Polyester - From Bottle to Fiber

fiber history

Polyester recyclé à partir de bouteilles plastiques

Polyester, a fiber 3x more used than cotton. What makes it one of the fibers most used by the fashion industry today, and acclaimed by eco-responsible brands when recycled?

The origin of polyester is petroleum. This fiber is affordable, usable in many different environments (sport, fashion, decoration, furniture etc.).

42 million tons produced per year, the impact of this material is enormous, but there is an alternative. Increasingly widespread, the recycled solution is beginning to be promoted by many brands. Patagonia was the first brand to use it back in 1993 (!), more than 20 years before the industry giants woke up.

But then this recycled Polyester, why and how?
A recycled alternative to polyester, this solution is a first step towards more responsible fashion and sport. The use and transformation of waste (especially plastic bottles) is a first solution against the plastic pollution we are currently experiencing.

The process we have chosen at NOSC comes from the mechanical transformation of post-consumer bottles into a fiber ideal for sports use.

Manufacturing process

manufacturing process recycled nylon textile fishing net

Although the mechanical process of transformation and recycling damages the fiber, recycled polyester is a first qualitative solution towards an eco-responsible sport for several reasons, the first being the reduction of plastic waste, when we know that  only 9% of the world's plastic is recycled.

1st step : Collection of waste, mainly post-consumer plastic bottles.

2nd step : Crushing of materials into chips.

3rd step : Polymerization. We just create polyester balls used in step 4.

4th step : Summarizing this step, it consists of mechanically extruding the balls into fibers. The spinning company can then make different sizes (counts) to offer them to weaving or knitting partners for confection.

Technical benefits for sport

Avantages techniques fibre polyester recyclé pour le sport

This is all well and good, but why is this fiber of interest to us for sport? For several reasons and that's why we love it so much!

Affordable fiber economically, it allows us to offer you products at prices similar to those of the market , but with a much smaller ecological footprint.

Easy to mix, it makes it possible to combine its qualities of breathability with more solid or natural fibers as for our long-sleeved TENCEL t-shirt.

The fiber being light , it is possible to produce very light technical products and also very technical , while maintaining a strong eco-responsible perspective through recycling.

Finally, a fiber heavily used in the outdoors, it has proven resistance to natural elements, friction and other strong stresses. Its duration of life is longer than cotton for example.

Environmental benefits for the planet

Réduction recyclage bouteilles plastiques sport

1- Second life given to single-use plastic bottles

2- Reduced number of processing steps, reducing energy consumption

3- Mechanical (and not chemical) transformation of polymer bottles

4- 100% Italian production, reducing the impact of transport for NOSC production.

The limits of this material

1- Rejection of micro-plastics during washing (need to use a Guppyfriend washing bag)

2- Democratized material: some production lines are not clear or traceable (case of fake used plastic bottles)

3- Less comfortable than a natural fiber

4- Less warm than wool

bouteille plastique