Recycled polyester, also known as rPET, is obtained by melting down existing plastic and re-spinning it into new polyester fiber. … Although recycling plastic sounds like an indisputable good idea, rPET’s celebration is far from being a unanimity in the sustainable fashion community.
RPET stands for recycled polyethylene terephthalate, or recycled PET. PET is a strong, durable and recyclable material that is used for soda bottles, water bottles and food jars, while RPET can be made into such products as blankets, insulation, car parts, shoes and more.
THE PROCESS GOES SOMETHING LIKE THIS:
1. You recycle your plastic bottles.
2. Recycling plants collect, sort, & bale those bottles.
3. The same plant chops the bottles into small pieces, called “flake”.
4. The plant then cleans the flake and removes the labels.
5. The plant then turns the flake into more formed, smaller pieces called “chip”.
6. They then melt the chip down and extrude it into extremely thin filaments. They then bundle those filaments into a yarn, which they then buffet by air, entangling the filaments.
7. They stretch the yarn over heated rubber rollers to change its molecular structure from being like dental floss to something closer to wool. From there, they spool it together and prepare it to be assembled into fabric. Whether that is 100% RPET, a 50/50 blend with organic cotton, or yet other blends with other fabrics depends on what the manufacturer has in mind.