You might be imagining your own plastic version of the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz right now. We get it. It seems weird to literally be wearing recyclables, but have no fear! Textile mills have come a long ways since the days of Dorothy and the yellow brick road!
Today, textile mills are recycling plastic soda bottles into polyester fibers and transforming them into brand new eco-friendly T-shirts. So, instead of chucking that soda bottle in the garbage, give the recycling bin a try…it could end up being part of a Soul Flower T-shirt one day! Plus, you’ll feel great knowing that you’re contributing one less recyclable to landfills!
So how do they actually get those plastic bottles into your clothes? Well mills start out with PET bottles (think milk jugs, soda bottles, etc.) that are sterilized, dried, and crushed into small chips. The chips are then heated and passed through a spinneret to form a string of yarn. The yarn is wound up into spools, then the fiber is passed through a crimping machine to make is soft and fluffy. After that, the yarn is baled, dyed, and knitted into fabric! (Source)
This whole process uses much less energy than normal polyester (33-53% less to be exact). So to sum it all up…super soft fabric, less landfill waste, less manufacturing energy, and you look great. What’s not to love?!
Check out more of our recycled t-shirts in our 2015 Early Spring Lookbook!