Preferred Recycled Synthetics

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PREFERRED RECYCLED SYNTHETICS

ABOUT PREFERRED RECYCLED SYNTHETICS

Preferred recycled synthetic fibers are synthetic fibers that has been manufactured from materials recovered from the waste stream. When recycled material is recovered from industry or before it reaches the final consumer, it’s called pre-consumer recycled. Material collected after consumer use is post-consumer recycled material. The use of recycled materials over virgin is a great way to reduce our overall reliance on non-renewable crude oil (used to produce most virgin synthetics) and to contribute to a reduction in waste from our industry and others.

Best practice involves certification through the supply chain, for example to Textile Exchange’s Recycled Content Standard (RCS), Global Recycled Standard (GRS) or SCS Global Services’ Recycled Content Certification. While RCS focuses on content claim, the GRS provides processing criteria as well as a content claim.

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KEY CHALLENGES

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NAVIGATING THE SUPPLY CHAIN
Natural fibers have been recycled for many years, but the use of recycled synthetics is much newer. There is a wide variation in price and quality across a huge number of suppliers around the world. The method of recycling has a huge impact on the quality, and it’s not always easy to determine from a distance. Navigating this supply chain can be very challenging compared with the conventional polyester supply.
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POST CONSUMER TEXTILES
There is high demand for the textile industry to address the millions of pounds of clothing that has ended up in landfill. New technologies continue to emerge to bring this vision to reality. But so far, the application has been limited to small scale projects that are not yet cost-effective to implement at scale. More research, investment, and partnerships need to converge to make large scale textile-to-textile recycling a reality.
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MICROSHEDDING
Quickly becoming a lightning rod issue through the industry, there is evidence that microfibers have been shedding from polyester clothing and making their way into the ocean, at an alarming pace and volume. The use of recycled polyester or nylon does not limit this microshedding, and may even shed at a higher rate.


BEST PRACTICE


First steps to using Recycled Synthetics:

There are many recycled synthetic suppliers available. Find a certified supplier through the 
following links.

Find a GRS or RCS supplier


2018 rPET Leaderboard


COLLABORATION

JOIN THE rPET ROUND TABLE

Textile Exchange’s Recycled Polyester (rPET) Round Table (previously called the rPET Working Group) is a global multi-stakeholder network aiming to increase the uptake of recycled polyester.

The rPET Round Table is led by Elayne Masterson of Fabrikology and currently has over 90 individual members from 56 companies/organizations. Members meet virtually every month, with an additional in-person meeting each Spring and a Round Table Summit each Fall.

The goals of the rPET Round Table are to:

    • Replace the use of virgin PET with rPET
    • Create price parity based on product performance, quality and sustainable profiles
    • Increase rPET availability
    • Improve education around rPET and circularity

JOIN THE rPET ROUND TABLE OR FIND OUT MORE

If you are interested in joining this Round Table, please send an email to: Materials@TextileExchange.org.