Recycled cotton fabric is the result of transforming old cotton fabric into cotton fibers. And, those fibers are further reused and turned into new fashion articles and textile products. Such cotton is also called regenerated or reclaimed cotton.
Sources of recycled cotton fabric
There are two major sources of recycled cotton fabric:
Post-industrial or Pre-consumer:
Such recycled cotton textiles are the remains of fabrics and yarns. These are often discarded during the process of manufacturing clothes. For instance, leftover pieces while making clothing pieces.
These are old items after usage. For instance, towels, garments, upholstery, household items. Such items are further reused to form a new product.
A major amount of recycled woven cotton fabric comes through pre-consumer waste. And, what comes from post-consumption is difficult to categorize and reprocess. It’s because it involves a lot of colours, a mix of fibers, etc. This process requires a lot more work and also costs more.
Advantages of recycled cotton fabric
Given below are the well-known advantages of using recycled cotton fabric:
- It can reduce energy and water consumption in your fashion industry. The amount of water required is less compared to the amount used for generating virgin cotton.
- Many products get stopped from ending up in landfills.
- The recycled fabric gives new life to many items, such as padding, rags, mop heads, and more.
Recycling efforts of industry and fashion brands
Today, so many global fashion brands are doing their bit towards recycling initiatives. They are even selling recycled cotton fabric products in their stores. Many brands are also encouraging consumers to give them used clothing. And, they further reuse and recycle those old garments. On receiving old garments from customer, some brands even offer consumer benefits. For instance, discount coupons or points for next purchases.
With the growth of sustainability, companies need to consider promoting the use of recycled cotton fabric. After all, it’s a great initiative to improve the shelf life of fashion clothing and accessories. And, it’s not like a mere disposable business model.
Recycled cotton fabric is a great way to decrease manufacturing textile waste. It even decreases its reuse in lower quality products. Or reduces mixing with other fibers. However, there are still certain challenges to overcome for consumers. Particularly, in the garment industry.
Recycled cotton has certain end uses. But the complexities posed by decreasing the quality and length of cycled fiber may lead to issues during the production phase and to end consumers. Furthermore, after recycling garments, they can’t further get into recycling unlimitedly. It’s because of the fiber separation process that weakens the fibers. So, it cannot undergo infinite recycling.
Recycling cotton is a good way to reuse old garments and give them new life. However, there are still many challenges to making the recycling process successful. Further, progress must be to grow cotton under specific conditions that are responsible, ethical, and favorable to workers. All these conditions can offer the right solution. And, it will be a great contribution to the fashion industry. Meanwhile, garment manufacturing will become more socially responsible and sustainable.