Recycled vs Virgin Polyester

Polyester is a fabric made of PET (short for polyethylene terephthalate), derived from fossil fuels and widely used in the sports- and fashion industry because it’s inexpensive, durable, and versatile. Polyester is specifically suitable for sportswear due to its moisture-wicking, multifunctional, and quick-drying properties.

However, with increased concerns in regard to the environmental challenges we currently face, synthetic materials have come under scrutiny, primarily because polyester is non-renewable, polluting in their extraction, and takes up to 200 years to degrade in landfills. Using recycled fibers is an alternative to virgin polyester to minimize the production footprint.

Using recycled polyester means a reduced dependence on raw petroleum, and requires less resources (water, energy) to produce, compared to virgin polyester. Apart from this, we use recycled PET with the ambition to reduce landfills, thus minimizing soil contamination, and air and water pollution. Recycled PET has the potential to be continuously recycled with no degradation of quality. However, the industry has not come to a viable infrastructure to incorporate a closed-loop solution for recycling PET fibers in garments.

Using recycled polyester also has its disadvantages, for example, recycled polyester takes PET out of other closed-loop recycling systems, such as the bottling industry, where it could be recycled infinitely. Furthermore, garments made from polyester, and other synthetic materials, shed microplastics that end up in the oceans and could potentially harm plants, animals, and humans.

Our ambition is to to maximize the usage of the resources we consume, the longevity of the garment (using appropriate materials and designs), and at the same time minimize our environmental footprint. In producing our garments, we weigh in different factors; user benefits, durability, environmental impact, etc. We are constantly striving to find more sustainable solutions in material choices and supply chains. We’re currently exploring biodegradable materials such as Lyocell.

Making responsible choices extends to our customers, prolonging the lifetime of the garment. Avoiding excessive machine washing, washing in lower temperatures, and using a microplastic laundry bag can all improve the longevity of the garment and minimize the shedding of microplastics.

Read our Care Guide for information.
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