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Increase Usage of Recycled Fibre Garments

by Edwina Huang on May 18, 2015

Recycled Polyester Chiffon


The world has suddenly begun to embrace recycled materials and green standards like the new dawn of a movement. The increased awareness of green initiatives and the effect they have in saving the earth and protecting the ozone layer and reducing the carbon footprint have suddenly made a Wangari Maathai or AL Gore out of every human. This has stretched to natural energy resources, green construction, recycling of plastics and paper and materials. So the fashion world was not to be left out on the charade and garments are now being made from recycled fibre. Exploiting of silkworms and cotton plants or animal fur is slowly leaving the society to protect endangered species of both animals and earth cover.


Europe had long embraced the advent of recycled fibre garments only behind Asia and maybe the Middle East. This is due to the EU enforcing a green zone program that ensured all member states played their part in reducing their carbon footprint. They went on a spree of producing green vehicles, building green structures and the fibre garments followed suite, especially with Europe a metropolis for fashion with Paris, Venice and London fashion power towns. Hemp had been used for a long time as a military option for cold weather clothing, protection of food material, construction of aerated houses and even for car upholstery and interiors.


PLA is an interesting fibre found in synthesized, polymerized plant sugar. It does well to attract moisture and as such is a good base layer. It is used in bedding, carpets and personal care items but can be used industrially too. Silk too is a fabric that is mostly used to complement other fibres. The texture and unbelievable strength make it a dangerous fibre but blended with other fibres, can add gloss and sheen to the final product. Recycled fibres in garments ensure there is no waste and increase the chances of it being accepted as a global trend and not just a charity case.


The possibility of there being no waste lands and landfill refuse accumulation is greatly reduced once we embrace recycled fibre garments. There is also the added advantage of not being ransom to prices of the raw materials around the world that are used to make fabric and subsequently clothes and bedding and interior materials. Tencel for example is an example of such gains. It is used greatly by outdoor companies and the fact that it uses recyclable non-toxic solvents and it is fully biodegradable means it is one of the more modern examples of recycling being trendy and successful. 


The obsession with fabric companies is having a closed loop system of production so that every stage of production and all the solvents and agents used remain within the process regardless of their position in the life cycle. Ingeo being a good example as it is fully usable at the end of its life. Bamboo is also testament to this, as the sourcing from wild growth means no petroleum products are used in its processing and with its mass growth and low soil inhabitation success, makes it a flagship for recyclable and organic fibres for a green future.