Repreve is a high quality recycled fibre made from plastic bottles, for use in the textile industry. Billions of plastic bottles are sent to landfills every year and Unifi, which makes the Repreve has recycled over 14 billion plastic bottles to date.
Making what is called virgin fibre uses new petroleum, but using bottles to make recycled fibre offsets the carbon footprint of the final product.
Now many leading brands are starting to use recycled fibre to make their products; from Surfwear, outdoor gear, sportswear, car interiors and many more. The tide is changing and by choosing to buy from these brands we can make our preferences felt and gradually turn the tide on the plastics industry.
The type of garments made from plastic fibres are generally used in the sportswear industry as these fabrics are very effective at keeping us dry, warm and insulated against the cold.
Using the recycled plastic to make garments is a far better way than using virgin fibres. However we also have to remember that each time these garments are washed, millions of minute fibres and flecks are shed into the water and down the drains into our rivers and oceans. Unfortunately so far our water treatment systems are unable to effectively filter out the invisible fibres to prevent further pollution.
The best way is to buy clothes made from natural fibres, i.e. cotton, wool, bamboo etc. and limit the synthetics to our sportswear, rain-wear or outerwear.
See also the Guppyfriend wash bag that is reputed to collect the synthetic microfibres that are shed during the wash.