Bottles to Bags

Urban Junket's t.o.t.e. {to observe the earth} collection is made from 100% coated cotton canvas on the exterior and rPET (a nylon-like material made from recycled plastic bottles) on the interior lining.

Q: What does "rPET" stand for?

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, fabric and more. rPET is produced by collecting, sorting and recycling PET, then refining the material into flakes that can be turned into new products. Using rPET as an alternative to PVC is a huge step forward on the path toward a greener, safer and cleaner future. The qualities of the fabric include: tremendously strong, lightweight, inherently water resistant, wrinkle resistant, and almost completely color fast.

Q: Why is recycled polyester (rPET) considered a sustainable textile?

The majority of the world’s PET production – about 60% – is used to make fibers for textiles; about 30% is used to make bottles.  It’s estimated that it takes about 104 million barrels of oil for PET production each year – that’s 70 million barrels just to produce the polyester used in fabrics. Of the 30% of PET which is used to make bottles, only a tiny fraction is recycled into fibers. Therefore, re-using recycled bottles to make fabric diverts waste from landfills and oceans. The reason recycled polyester (rPET) is considered a green option is twofold:

    1. Energy needed to make the rPET is less than what was needed to make the virgin polyester in the first place, so we save energy.
    2. And we’re keeping bottles and other plastics out of the landfills and oceans.

So when you see something labeled as rPET, rest assured that it is a recycled material and environmentally-friendly!

Q: How is rPET made into fabric?

For details of the rPET fabric production process, we found this video from ScienceChannel.com.

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