Pocket linings may not usually be visible parts of garments, but a new collection is putting these often-unseen elements front and center in the push for sustainability.
As the fashion industry calls for more traceable, environmentally friendly options, Cotswold has launched a line of pocketing that leverages Unifi Corp.’s REPREVE® recycled polyester, which gives new life to polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles.
“Clients and consumers are demanding action now,” said James McKinnon, CEO of Cotswold. “We see every part of our business and supply chain as an opportunity to use less and save more. Pocketing made with REPREVE is a great step in that direction.”
By leveraging Unifi’s REPREVE recycled polyester, Cotswold is able to upcycle about two plastic bottles per garment. Cotswold is aiming for mass adoption of its Max REPREVE collection to make the greatest impact. “If every jean made each year in the world used REPREVE fiber for their pocketing, we could upcycle over 1 billion plastic bottles each year,” McKinnon said.
According to data from Euromonitor provided to The Guardian, plastic drinking bottle consumption is on the rise and by 2021, 583 billion plastic bottles will be sold each year around the globe. The large majority of these bottles will not be recycled, instead ending up in landfills or polluting the oceans. Materials such as REPREVE aim to save some of that plastic waste by turning it into new products.
While REPREVE has environmental benefits, McKinnon also notes that the material’s hand is somewhat softer than virgin polyesters. Meanwhile, the performance of REPREVE is on par with virgin polyester, with traits such as durability with consistent shrinkage.
Products in the Max REPREVE line range include fabrications that feature 100 percent REPREVE recycled polyester and also twill products with a blend of REPREVE. The pocketing also varies in heft, allowing for lightweight or heavyweight linings.
As part of the effort to achieve widespread adoption of the Max REPREVE pocketing, Cotswold is making the linings available in every country that has apparel production.
The Max REPREVE line is just one of Cotswold’s efforts to build more environmentally responsible operations. About two years ago, the company established a RENAISSANCE corporate social responsibility platform, which includes a pillar centered on using only recycled, organic and/or biodegradable materials. The company has also committed to responsible sourcing.
RENAISSANCE has helped Cotswold lower its carbon footprint and raise its production efficiency. “RENAISSANCE represents Cotswold’s global and all-encompassing commitment to a sustainable and ethical business,” McKinnon said.
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