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Recycled Polyester


Virgin polyester or simply, polyester, as it would be marked on a clothing label is not a particularly wonderful material in regards to production, health and environmental impact. Recycled polyester is an energy hungry, water consuming, non-sustainable synthetic fibre, but luckily there is in fact a ‘green’ version of polyester – the process of it’s creation is nothing like that of the aforementioned evil counterpart.

What Is Polyester?

Polyester is a man-made fibre which is synthesized from petrochemical products such as ethylene glycol and dimethyl terephthalate, using a process called polymerization. The fibre is wrinkle resistant, easy to clean and quick to dry but on the other hand it is not very environmentally friendly – at all.

The production of this material involves industrial quantities of water, heavy chemicals and fossil fuels. The raw materials and by-products are toxic, pollute the surrounding water, the air and can cause several health problems.


How Is Recycled Polyester Different?

Unlike polyester, recycled polyester uses PET plastics as the raw material. This is the same material that is used to make many of the overly consumed single use plastic water bottles. By using these plastic bottles, which have already been created it reduces the energy consumption needed for production, it removes the need for the extraction of further fossil fuels and it also prevents the bottles from going to a landfill site. 

How Is Recycled Polyester Made?

Plastic PET bottles are collected, sorted, washed and sterilised. 

The prepared bottles are then sent through a machine which crushes and shreds the plastic into tiny flakes.

The flakes are then made into granules and ready to be processed into yarn.

The granules are then heated and passed through a spinneret machine to form the yarn, the yarn is then wound up on spools, baled and dyed.

For us at Charmio the recycled polyester is then blended in with GOTS organic cotton to create a long lasting, great to wear sustainable sweatshirt.

The end product is up to 59% more energy efficient (more if renewable energies are utilised), uses far fewer new resources, deals with a big problem created by plastic pollution and can be infinitely recycled in a closed loop – although the closed loop recyclable clothing industry is still a way off at the moment. Recycled Polyester is definitely a step in the right direction for an industry that has a lot to make up for.

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Fair Trade And Fair Share

Fair Trade & Fair Share

The idea of Fair Trade as you may well be aware is that a percentage of each sale goes directly to those involved in the production and manufacture of the item. It is a great scheme which can help lift people up and give them a real safety cushion and allow them to develop their lives and careers further.

Our Women’s t-shirts carry the Fair Share label which is an initiative supported by us and led by our suppliers. This project operates at their cotton mill in India. The t-shirts carry a premium on the base cost which is passed on directly to the workers with nothing removed, this extra cost is absorbed by us as to keep the pricing inline with the rest of our lines. We are aiming to align our men’s clothing with this too in the near future. 

Find out more about the Fair Share Project here.

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What Is GOTS Certification?


Becoming GOTS certified is internationally recognised as the toughest organic textile standard because it goes far beyond just being about the organic farming practices. GOTS is a textile production certification that limits the use of toxic bleaches, dyes and other chemical inputs. It also extends to working and environmental conditions ensuring that employment rights, the work area and the environmental standards are maintained and improved. To obtain the GOTS “organic” label, a product must:

  1. Contain a minimum of 95% organic fibre. 
  2. Fabrics cannot be treated with bleach, formaldehyde or any other toxic substances.
  3. Be coloured with nontoxic dyes.
  4. Be produced in a mill that enforces strict social and environmental standards, treating their employees and the earth with deep respect.

We are proud to achieve and hold GOTS certification which means that our products meet the very highest standards.

To learn more about GOTS visit What It Takes to Be GOTS Certified.