Upcycled cotton: what it is and all the advantages of this fabric

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Over the years, the increase of pollution and the growing attention towards themes such as sustainability and environmental impact have given life to ancient techniques of fabric upcycling that were disappearing.

Here is how upcycled cotton was born: an alternative solution to the use of cotton, one of the most polluting fibers of textile industry.

In this article we want to tell you about what is upcycled cotton, how it is produced and all the environmental and ethical advantages that we get while we wear it.

Why producing upcycled cotton?

Most of the garments in the world are made with cotton, a natural fiber that is very common and that represents the 33% of all the fibers in clothes.

To produce a single t-shirt we normally use 2.700 liters of water.
It is the same amount of water that an adult drinks in 2 and a half years.

If you think that every second in the world are produced 63 t-shirts, you can imagine how huge is this water consumption. One of the consequences of this consume is the desertification of some area, like Aral Lake, that was dried up in 14 years because of the intensive production of cotton in central Asia.

But water waste is not the only problem…

Every minute one million of plastic bottles are purchased all around the world.
This causes a serious difficulty in managing rubbish.

Bottles plastic reaches the sea in every moment and here the sea currents take them adrift, creating real rubbish islands that pollute the seas, killing birds and fishes that drink it.

From these problems it comes the urge to create a new product: upcycled cotton.

What is upcycled cotton?

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If the upcycled cotton fiber is strengthened with another stronger fiber, like for example polyethylene, then the fabric becomes soft and resistant.

Upcycled cotton fibers are united with other polyethylene fibers obtained through a particular processing technique of plastic bottles.

When these two fibers are weaved together, they create a new product that is soft, comfortable and 100% ecofriendly.

You’ve been surely wondering if it is possible to create a 100% upcycled cotton t-shirts. The answer for the moment is no. Cotton fiber is too short and once that it is upcycled, it becomes shorter so it is not resistant enough for the washing.
We’ve made many tries and then we have finally found a composition that can guarantee quality, freshness but also durability.

How upcycled cotton is obtained

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Upcycled cotton is obtained through the complete recycling of old garments or processing waste.

These rags are subjected to a process called upcycled cycle, in which they are processed to obtain a completely new fabric.

To produce upcycled cotton we need only two ingredients: old fabrics or cotton production waste and polyester that comes from the recycle of plastic bottles.

But how does this production work?

First of all, cotton fabrics are collected and divided by color.

Through a particular process these rags become again cotton fibers, already colored.

At the same time plastic bottles are picked up and processed to get the polyethylene fiber.

These two new upcycled fibers are finally weaved, cut and stitched together.
That’s how a new 100% upcycled t-shirt was born .

Advantages of wearing upcycled cotton

The mechanical processing of an upcycled t-shirts requires the use of only 30 liters of water, against the 2.700 of a “virgin” t-shirts.

In this way we can obtain many advantages:

  • A big reduction of water liters
  • The recycling of textile waste
  • The recycling of plastic bottles, that don’t end in the environment
  • The reduction of pesticides and chemicals used during the process
  • The support to local economy
  • The limitation of fuel consumption, because we have a KM0 production
  • The creation of new opportunities for workers, inside the production territory
  • The certainty of the quality, ethicality and sustainability of the whole productive process
  • The fact that you can wear a beautiful, soft and comfortable t-shirts that doesn’t have a negative impact on the planet.

Conclusions

An upcycled fabric, like cotton or wool, keeps the same characteristic of the original product, but with a remarkable saving for the environmental impact, like we’ve seen in this article.

To us, all these themes are very important. That’s why we create our upcycled cotton t-shirts and upcycled cotton beach towels focusing on the ethicality of the production, to realize every day high-quality, lasting and 100% sustainable products.

Would you like to touch our upcycled cotton products? Visit our store”!