As a global population, we throw away BILLIONS of plastic bottles every year. You probably already know these bottles can be recycled and repurposed into new plastic. But did you know this recycled plastic can be used to make clothing items like slippers and gloves?
So, how does it work?
First, the bottles are gathered from landfills or oceans, and shipped to recycling centers where they will be processed. First, the bottles are sorted by color; separating the clear plastics from the colored ones. Clear bottles can be turned into white fabrics and easily dyed into beautiful colors. Once sorted by color, the pieces will then be cleaned to remove any adhesives or labels that may still appear. Then they are shredded and melted down into pellets, then extruded into thin slivers of polyester; like dough going through a pasta machine.
From here, the material is spun together and twisted into thread and then woven into brand new sheets of cloth. This process can be used to create many types of textiles that can be used in all types of clothing and accessories. The factory mills then dye the textile into many different colors or printed just like any other fabric. After this point, the fabric made from recycled polyester is indistinguishable from conventional fabric and meets the same industry standards as non-recycled polyester.
Plastic Bottles? Check. Cloth? Check.
Now it’s time to assemble into beautiful, sustainable slippers and gloves! The process may seem intensive and time consuming, but it is worth it to bring you the products you love in a more sustainable way. In fact, we have even substituted many of our staple fabrics, like our classic microsuede and spandex, with those made from recycled plastic bottles using this process! But we couldn’t just swap in these recycled fabrics and call it a day. We have high standards for recycled fabrics – they need to be just as soft, just as durable, and even more beautiful than the non-recycled ones they replace.
8 Million Bottles Saved
You heard right, over the past few years we've saved 8 million water bottles from ending up in landfills and oceans. Through these efforts, we've created a new world of comfort products, all which reduce our impact on the planet. And we’re not stopping there - by 2025 we plan to use recycled materials in every single style we make, because we care deeply about reducing our impact. And when you shop Isotoner for slippers and gloves, you'll feel good inside and out knowing you're getting the same super soft and comfy slippers and gloves, while taking care of the planet.