In number 3 of our mini series exploring the Doris & Dude sock formula, we look at recycled polyester, which makes up 17% of our fabric blend, after bamboo and organic cotton at 40% each.
Now we’ve all heard of polyester. It is one of the most common textiles used in clothing manufacture, accounting for around 65% of all fibres used in the textile industry. Have a quick look at a label in whatever you’re wearing now. My beloved favourite hoodie says 70% cotton, 30% polyester. Polyester has a multitude of industrial uses too. It’s a manmade fabric, with some impressive properties. It’s durable and long-lasting, lightweight and quick-drying, blends well with other fabrics and is resistant to stretch or shrinkage. It’s made from petrochemical products. Yep, that’s crude oil, the fossil fuel. Its production uses vast amounts of water and energy. It’s raw materials and by-products are toxic to air, land and sea. Feeling uncomfortable yet? So were we.
We wanted the benefits but not the massive carbon footprint, so we found our balance using recycled polyester. Recycled poly is made from PET. That’s plastic bottles when it’s at home. Recycled bottles are chipped, melted down, and spun into fibres which retain all the properties of virgin polyester. (Fascinating fact – 5 plastic bottles are enough to make one t-shirt). The production of recycled polyester uses up to 59% less energy, and produces up to 75% less CO2 emissions than its counterpart.
Recycling these existing PET products reduces our dependence on petroleum products – polyester accounts for around 60% of global PET production, a lot more than plastic bottles – and reduces our impact on the planet by reclaiming waste that could have ended up in landfill or the world’s oceans. And that’s why we use it in our funky, super soft socks.
And remember you can do your bit too. It’ not just your plastic bottles that belong in the recycling, it’s your old textiles too. Don’t break the circle by chucking your recycled polyester straight in the bin when it gets a hole in it. Check out our blog on textile recycling to see why it’s important and what you can do.