From factory scraps to customers' backs: how recycled cotton is making a difference
Recycolor cotton is now part of the range. Along with Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) cotton and organic we’re on track to rid our range of conventional cotton by 2020.
To make Recycolor cotton, scraps are gathered up from factory cutting tables, sorted by colour, and then fed into huge stripping machines that break the fabric back down into their original fibres. These broken down fibres are usually too short to spin, so they are mixed with virgin cotton to create a stronger finished yarn. The resulting fabric has a distinctive marle-look that needs no dyeing.
“Water use is cotton’s biggest environmental impact,” says Kathmandu Textile R&D and Responsible Materials Manager, Manu Rastogi, “so the water savings is the biggest win for recycled cotton.”
The recycled cotton portion of Recycolor fabric uses about 70% less water.
Cotton uses water in growing, production, and dyeing. Conventional dyeing has other negative effects, too. In China, where around 65% of the world’s clothing is produced, the World Bank estimates 17 to 20 percent of industrial water pollution comes from textile dyeing and treatment.
Less waste, less water use, less pollution and a lower carbon footprint - Recycolor cotton is a new string to our sustainable cotton bow.
“We’re aware that water is one of the world’s biggest environmental priorities - so we’re making it one of our priorities, too,” says Manu.