The Advantages of rPET
When we buy a purse, our first concern is usually about what the exterior looks like and what contents it can hold. Usually, the only time we think about what happens on the inside of our purse is when we’re fishing around for lipstick or a wallet - rarely do we consider what materials the inside of our bags are made of. When looking for sustainable fashion options, it’s a good idea to search for cute bags that utilize rPET materials in their lining and elsewhere, especially since this material is so versatile, durable, and made from recyclables. We here at White Rhino Bags are using rPET material in all our fabric lining moving forward.
But what exactly is rPET?
rPET stands for recycled polyethylene terephthalate - and if you’re having a hard time pronouncing that, you’re not alone. To put it more simply, rPET is a recycled plastic material made from items such as water or soft drink bottles. rPET plastic goes through a breakdown process and is transformed into polyester yarn that can be
used for lining bags, making t-shirts, and any other clothing products as seen fit. rPET essentially becomes recycled polyester, which is not to be confused with virgin polyester, the common fabric used in the fashion industry, and derived from petroleum. The rPET cycle is a sustainable way to produce quality fabrics. The process has been hailed as a better method to reduce plastic waste, especially when it comes to fashion items.
What is the rPET recycling process?
The beginning stages of rPET start with
items and jars before putting them into the bin and then making sure they end up in the right facilities. The first step is important because to break down properly, recycled plastic containers must be thoroughly cleaned before they are shredded - that means no chucking them directly into the bin after use! Once this takes place, the plastic is melted down and spun into threads. At this point, the rPET materials are white in color and resemble cotton. Finally, after this days-long recycling process, the rPET fabric is dyed and turned into cloth to be used in clothing production.
The coolest thing about rPET is that it’s made directly from recycled materials, making it a sustainable option over other fabrics such as traditional cotton, rayon, and polyester. Along with being a sustainable fabric, it’s a direct product of consumers’ recycling efforts - meaning you finally get to see a return on lugging the recycling bin to the curb once a week.
Why rPET over other materials?
There are a few key differentiators that set rPET fabric apart from less-sustainable
options. The rPET process uses about half the amount of energy compared to the production of virgin polyester - the great thing about this being that we can reuse existing petroleum products at lower energy levels, and that ensures that rPET plastics can be recycled over and over without sacrificing quality and style. The amount of water used in rPET production is also relatively low, making it a sustainable option compared to cotton and other non-organic farmed fabrics. While there’s a lot to choose from in terms of picking sustainable fabrics to add to your closet, rPET is an excellent option if you’re looking for beautiful and sustainable fashion pieces.
Have we convinced you?
Recycled material like rPET fabric is awesome because it utilizes plastics we’ve
already produced and expands their life cycle, preventing additional plastics from entering our environment. It’s exciting to consider our plastic water bottles are being turned into gorgeous fashion statements. While rPET seems like a great alternative to other, less sustainable fabrics, only 7% of recycled materials make it through to the rPET process - this number means it’s imperative that we continue to recycle our plastic materials. As a consumer, you have the power to spend your money on environmentally-friendly items, and that doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice style. It’s all about buying fabrics that make us feel good and look fabulous. If you’re looking to make an rPET purchase, check out our Heritage Collection at White Rhino Bags.