Sustainable Recycled Fabrics

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Textiles that are sorted, graded and reused to make fabrics for various uses are generally known as recycled fabrics. They are made of synthetic or natural fibres. Many companies are using recycled and sustainable fabrics because sustainability has become the norm in present times. Sustainable fabrics help everyone protect the environment which has been destroyed over the years by humans.

Recycling of fabric is the process whereby old clothing and other textiles are recovered for reuse or recovery of the fabric. Recycling of fabric could then be the final step. It has always been considered as an eco-friendly and sustainable option, there is no wastage too. It helps the textile industry in many ways as sustainability has become the norm. Companies are looking at sustainable and recyclable fabrics as the future for the survival of the industry.

The modern consumer mindset of buy, use and discard has millions of kilograms of garments and textiles being thrown away each year. The fashion industry is the second largest polluting industry after oil. So it makes one wonder about the clothes we buy and what happens to them when we no longer want or need them. Earlier times we had to hand me down culture, but nowadays it is no longer seen or heard of.

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Although most fabrics can be recycled, approximately 85 percent of clothing end up in landfill sites in the USA alone. Existing clothing and industrial textile waste can both be used to form the base for creating new fashions.

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Polyester and nylon are commonly and popularly used synthetic fibres. Polyester is in high demand as fibre and its demand will continue to grow. Regular polyester fibres are not environment friends as the process involves chemical treatments, fossil fuel usage and huge consumption of water. The Non-biodegradability of polyester is actually a good thing as it can be processed and reused again. Recycled polyester is as strong as virgin polyester. Nylon and spandex are making progress as recycled fabrics to avoid fabrics going to the landfills. 

A recycled cotton is a good option as it does not end up in landfills or such areas. It is not known how many times cotton can be recycled and how much of a blend it contains, but it is a viable option among fabrics. Sustainability is advised by many and recycling is one such step towards being sustainable. 

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Recycled silk is one of the top-most materials there is and it’s quite expensive. Recycled silk yarn matches the quality of the silk. The finest portions are perfectly spun giving them a soft and glistening texture. The yarns are elegant at reasonable prices. These are ideal for felting, knitting, making scarves, attractive clothing and more!

The recycling market at the global level is only around 6 to 8 million metric tonnes which are 12 to 14 percent of the waste market. The industry is dominated by Europe, followed by the USA, China, and the rest of the world. With a growing textile market and consumer purchase power, the recycling market is expected to grow at the rate of 3 to 5 percent in the next decade.

Around 90 to 95 million metric tonnes of textile waste was generated at the global level.  Europe and USA together had more than a quarter of the share in the waste generation market. China leads the sector by generating the highest share of textile waste by geography. It is noteworthy to mention that only 1 to 2 percent of textile waste generated was recycled by its huge consumer base like USA & Europe.

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By Suma George

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