In 2022, polyester made up 54% of global fibre production. Recycled polyester accounted for around 14% of that total figure, the majority of which was recovered from discarded bottles containing polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Because polyester is so prevalent in global manufacturing, the priority to shift its production away from depleting fossil fuels and towards more sustainable options is essential. Additionally, the use of recycled PET bottles in place of virgin polyester tackles the growing problem of pollution and landfill waste while maintaining the quality and durability we associate with traditional polyester.

The Repreve slip dress (1) was produced as part of Guess’s Eco line and is made from Repreve material, a polyester fibre composed of recycled PET. Repreve gathers discarded plastic bottles and post-industrial waste from landfills worldwide. The plastic is then chopped, washed, melted, and extruded before being turned into a yarn.


All Batoko swimsuits are fabricated entirely from recycled post-consumer plastic waste, of which 85% is recycled PET. Each suit is digitally printed to reduce manufacturing waste and a portion of the proceeds from this Seal print (2) are used to help rescue and rehabilitate grey seal pups at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary. The Rothy’s shoe company has developed a signature thread, composed of recycled PET, which they use to 3D knit the uppers on all of their shoes (3). By using this technique and material, Rothy’s maintain standard shapes for their products, reduce manufacturing waste, and utilise discarded material in a sustainable way. Both the swimsuit and the shoes are estimated to contain the equivalent of 10 plastic bottles.


It is interesting to note that, while recycled PET has proven to provide a sustainable option in replacing fossil fuel-based polyester in the fashion and textile industry, and is a good way to use an otherwise waste product, it will potentially become a reduced resource as food and drink industries seek to move away from single use plastics.

Recycled >