July 7, 2015
John McHale, Reporter
An outdoors brand is celebrating helping the planet by using its billionth recycled bottle.
Polartec, whose fabrics are used by numerous outdoor clothing manufacturers, makes its fabrics from clear plastic bottles, which would otherwise to go landfill.
Stacked end-to-end, the billion bottles would reach halfway to the moon, but could also be used to manufacture 27 million new fleece jackets.
Polartec has been recycling plastic bottles since 1993 and using the waste to produce high quality fabrics. Back then demand was low and technology was in its infancy resulting in a scratchy fabric that felt recycled.
In 2010, Polartec went into partnership with Unifi Inc to produce high quality recycled fleece, using post-consumer recycled content. Repreve 100 was born and Polartec was able to use a yarn using 100 percent clear plastic bottles that felt good and could offer customers a wider range of styles and colours.
British brands, including Rab, Montane and Mountain Equipment use Polartec Repreve 100 in their collections from baselayers through to outer protection garments. International brands such as Patagonia and Norrona were early adopters in the 1990s and big supporters of the Polartec recycled offering and continue to be so.
Polartec gained Oeko-Tex 100 Certification in 2005 and has been Bluesign certified since 2008.
Alessandro Perseo, Polartec European marketing manager, said: “In the US over 40 billion plastic bottles are destined for landfill this year.
“One fortieth of this total amount seems a drop in the ocean but it’s a start.
“We are keen to continue our upward trend and increase our commitment to make better use of what’s already been used. Here’s to the next billion.”