Do you have questions about recycled materials? What are the advantages and disadvantages? How do you use them? Greeny Bird Dress has investigated for you.
Synthetic materials (e.g. polyester or nylon):
They can be obtained by dissolving or melting textile waste (damaged products, cuttings for example) but also non-textile waste (plastic bottles, fishing nets).In the case of fusion, the material is crushed, melted and new filaments are created. The result is a good quality material, but its recycling will not be infinite.For dissolving, a chemical dissolving step is added between the grinding and melting of the material. The advantage of this technique is to obtain a material of a quality equivalent to a new material, and infinitely recyclable.
Synthetic fibres come from oil, reducing their production allows the use of natural resources to be limitedThe starting material is not necessarily textile.The yarns obtained are long, quality fibres. 100% recycled material can be used.
All synthetic materials release micro-particles into the water when washed. The only way to prevent this is to use a washing net called Guppy Friends.
Natural materials (cotton or wool):
The most common method used is fraying: the recovered textiles are sorted by colour and then mechanically shredded. The fibres are separated by a fraying machine. This fibre will then be rewoven or knitted.
Recycling can be done locally, no need to order from the other side of the world (which is rarely the case for cotton for example).
We will reuse existing material: we avoid the destruction of still usable material and save the first stage of the life cycle (the production of the raw material).
The recycling of natural fibres remains energy-intensive because even if we do not go through the raw material production stage, we add the grinding stage which is an additional industrial stage to the traditional process.
The crushing will damage the fibres, reduce their length and therefore their strength. A 100% recycled cotton product will be of poor quality, as the fabric may pilling or tearing. The interest in giving a second life to these fibres is therefore lost!
Manufacturers will then mix these short fibres with longer ones: natural fibres or recycled synthetic fibres.
A classic mixture is for example 60% recycled cotton / 40% polyester.
100% recycled cotton is used when strength is not required (e.g. as thermal insulation)
Would you like to know more? Take a look at the online training courses dedicated to this subject:
Wedressfair.frCours Ensait – recyclage textile