Currently, recycled polyester is the most sustainable fiber used to produce weather-resistant outerwear. It also happens to be our most versatile fiber.
Polyester itself has a long history in the outdoor industry for being the go-to fiber for weather-resistant outerwear. However, it's also a synthetic material derived from oil, a non-renewable resource.
Enter recycled polyester. This recycled polymer uses post-consumer PET bottles and post-industrial waste, which requires less energy to produce than virgin polyester. It also diverts waste out of the landfills, lessens environmental degradation caused by conventional polyester processing, and, ultimately, helps us-and, eventually, an entire industry-create long-lasting garments that would normally end up as waste. On average, 95% of the polyester we use in our collection is crafted from recycled polyester or Teijin® recycled polyester. The small fraction of virgin polyester that we allow in our line is to give the fabric performance qualities, like stretch. Our goal is to use 100% recycled polyester. While recycled poly is not the answer to cradle-to-cradle outerweart, it is the most sustainable fiber that exists in the outerwear industry today.
Contrary to belief, not all recycled poly is down cycled into a lesser fabric. We work hard to transform this recycled fiber into a collection of high-quality, premium performance fabrics. We liken our process to using a pasta maker: A pasta maker can transform dough into different shapes and textures with varying characteristics, much like we transform recycled polyester fibers into the stretchable, soft shell fabric.
It's an extremely versatile, sustainable fiber that we use to create a collection of premium fabrics.
Some of our outerwear garments use recycled polyester that was developed in partnership with Teijin, the fabric supplier behind ECOCIRCLE® technology. Teijin recycled polyester is a blend of post-consumer and post-industrial polyester waste.
According to Teijin, "Collected polyester products are disintegrated to the molecular level, and then recycled into fibers of the same quality as ones made of oil. Because of this processing, we can avoid degrading quality which has been an issue of conventional recycling technology based on physical processing. In addition, because our technology allows us to use the same material as many times as we want, this reduces the consumption of oil resources and waste materials. Moreover, compared to manufacturing raw polyester materials from oil, it is possible to reduce both energy consumption and CO2 emission by about 80%."