Reused Polyester & Cotton – The Sustainable Textiles by TAUKO

August 09, 2018

Reused Polyester & Cotton – The Sustainable Textiles by TAUKO

A major part of TAUKO collections are made from reused polyester-cotton fabrics. The origin of the raw materials is in the Finnish and German textile maintenance companies who regularly discard textiles that they can not offer for their clients any more. Even though natural fibres are often considered the most ecological choice, TAUKO is very keen on reusing fabrics that contain polyester.

During the last half of the century synthetic fibres have taken over the natural fibres in textile industry, and they have been produced a lot, too much. Now they are filling up the landfills and shedding microplastics to the oceans. There are a lot of initiatives working on the recycling of these textiles, but none of them have yet reached the goal of scaling up the usage of used textiles for recycled fabrics.

Reusing the textiles that are easy to maintain, durable and recyclable is at the core of TAUKO philosophy. We have been reusing polyester-cotton textiles since 2013. There is no virgin polyester derived materials in TAUKO clothes, yet there is plenty of reused and some recycled (in zippers for example) polyester.

 

 

This is why reused polyester-cotton is our sustainable choice for TAUKO collections:

EASY MAINTENANCE

Polyester-cotton textiles are easy to care for. They are wrinkle resistant and light. They do not shrink or stretch much which means that they keep their shape. They don’t absorb moisture, which makes them dry fast and there is no need for using tumble dryer. They have also high breathability due to the qualities of cotton.

Easy maintenance makes the polyester cotton textiles ideal for people, who don’t have the time to iron and maintain their clothes. They are easy to travel with due to the lightness and wrinkle resistance.

DURABILITY

Polyester-cotton blends are strong and therefore durable. Polyester fibres are able to keep their strength after a lot of usage as they do not get shorter during the usage as natural fibres do. The length of a textiles fibre is very often a qualification for its strength and smoothness. They are also tear-resistant.

TAUKO trousers and jackets have shown the durability of the textiles used for the production. These are garments that are most often in long term heavy use and friction. They keep their form and the textiles are not worn out even though there would be a lot of daily rubbing against them. Carrying a bag can leave a mark on your favorite jacket or daily biking can result in losing your best trousers. Polyester-cotton textiles are durable enough for kind of heavy use.

RECYCLING

Last but not least; polyester is recyclable. Polyester can supposedly be recycled numerous times into a material of equal quality to that of the virgin fibre.

The recycling process of the textiles has not yet really taken off, but there is a lot of potential and many initiatives that work on the matter. Recycling of natural fibres is often problematic due to the wearing out of the fibres. Polyester in good and in bad, does not wear out.

There is a study that has been made about the textiles used by TAUKO where we wanted to find out the features of cotton and polyester cotton textiles. This study clearly shows how polyester cotton fabrics can be reused and cotton not.

 

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FOOTNOTE for the ones who got interested:

POLYESTER, RECYCLED POLYESTER AND REUSED POLYESTER

Polyester is a synthetic fibre that was patented in 1941 and the use of the material has grown ever since. Majority of polyester is used for textiles, and only 30% for plastic bottles. By now synthetic fibres consists 65% of all produced textiles.

Polyester is made from petroleum, a non-renewable resource that is non biodegradable. The production process is energy-intensive. The processing of petrochemicals results in large quantities of hazardous waste and the emissions can be irreversibly damaging to air, soil, and water.

There are many recycled polyester textiles that have been in the market for more than decades. The most known recycled polyester textiles are made from old plastic bottles. In addition, also plastic waste is collected from the oceans for the raw material of producing recycled polyester textiles. These textiles are reducing the plastic waste in the landfills and most importantly on the oceans. Also, the production of recycled polyester fabric takes from 33 % to 55% less energy and 54.6% fewer CO2 emissions than producing virgin polyester textiles.

The polyester-cotton textiles that are used as the raw materials for TAUKO collection are only dyed for usage. They are reused polyester-cotton fabrics and there is no actual production process that would involve usage of energy or harmful chemicals. The textiles are processed by dyeing. This takes a lot of water and requires high temperatures and is therefore very energy intensive, yet it is minimal compared to producing new polyester fabric, or even recycled polyester fabric. On top of that all the textiles are processed locally, which reduces the CO2 emissions by minimizing the transportation.

TAUKO is one of the few companies that is working at the moment with textiles that contain polyester. The reuse of these fabrics in bigger scale could help us to get rid of the textile waste in the landfills and need of polyester production.

Reading list:

Easy read blogpost by Hellen Lynggraad: Recycled polyester pros and cons

Facts about how much energy is saved when producing recycled polyester

Survey on microplastics shedding 

THE NEW PLASTICS ECONOMY RETHINKING THE FUTURE OF PLASTICS

Study on the TAUKO raw materials

 

Text: Mila Moisio