Updated: Feb 12
Fashion and style tips
Polyester, The Modern Miracle in Sustainable Clothing
Today’s athleisure wear is the green wave in clothing content. The content being a high-tech polyester. A recyclable material that makes clothing much lighter, more comfortable and functional, especially during long workouts and exercise.”
These technical fabrics draw moisture away from the body and are commonly known as “wicking fabrics”. This material also helps keep the body warmer in cooler weather. Polyester's lower absorbency also means it dries faster which requires a lot less time in the dryer.
Beyond the issue of end-of-life waste, the manufacture of polyester and other synthetics is also an energy-intensive process. Creating those coveted stretchy yoga pants requires large quantities of crude oil and releases emissions including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can cause or aggravate respiratory diseases and cancers. (1)
Nearly half of the world’s clothing is made of polyester which comes from polyethylene terephthalate (PET), the most common type of plastic in the world. In 2018 the non-profit organization Textile Exchange challenged over 50 textile, apparel and retail companies to increase their use of recycled polyester by 25 percent by 2020. It worked: In late 2018, the organization issued a statement celebrating that signatories have not only met the goal two years before the deadline, but they also actually exceeded it by upping their use of recycled polyester by 36 percent. (2)
If you are looking for sustainable clothing, there are many options. Below is a list of some of the textile, apparel and retail companies that are participating, and we have also listed a couple of companies that have taken-back programs for shoes and clothing.