Published on July 10th, 2010 | by Delia Montgomery0
Recycled PET = RPET Subject to Greenwashing
Also see this year’s post from Patty and Leigh Anne, sister partners of O Ecotextiles, where they write about the much-needed integrity of sustainability claims.
What’s the fuss? RPET, a/k/a rPET, is currently subject to abuse. Let’s start with definitions. PET is the material most commonly used in plastic soda bottles. Recycling produces a polyester fiber. Recycled PET, which is the chemical substance Polyethylene terephthalate, is commonly known as Polyester. PET prefixing with an R means the polyester contains recycled content. The content can contain either pre-consumer (such as factory off cuts) or post-consumer waste, (such as plastic bottles).
Due to the massive demand for RPET, supply of the material from certified sources is no longer sufficient. There are now many companies in China that produce bottles for the sole purpose of recycling them immediately into so-called RPET. This is green-washing at its worst and is equivalent to consumer fraud.
From seeking a solution, Envirosax developed a partnership with Unifi Inc, USA to make its own Envirosax RPET. The blog shares their opinion that SCS Scientific Certification Systems is the only company in the world able to accurately test recycled content in material. They also share a video to illustrate how recycled polyester yarn, Repreve®, is made. Repreve® is third-party certified by SCS. RPET is a mix of 55% flat filament polyester and 45% Repreve® polyester.
Pictured first is from the Envirosax Slingsax collection to appease busy urban dwellers who need their hands free while doing other things. The Minisax is designed as a reusable lunch bag and has a nifty sack with a coffee cup holder built into the pattern.
Happy ending for good intentions here. The result is accountability for a great product. Envirosax is an ideal model company that accomplishes that goal.
RELATED POST: Fashion’s New Global Recycling Standard