We were excited to offer a product made from recycled materials as we are proud to be a business that values sustainability and the ethical origins of our products. We want that to reflect through our printing processes and also through our products. Currently we do offer a range of Fairtrade & Organic bags and homewares, but we wanted to take that a step further and create a product made of recycled cotton, and we did. But the question is, why is that so significant? And why is recycled cotton so important?
While the cotton we use is sourced sustainably, it does use natural resources to grow and harvest. So, a way to avoid using these resources to grow new raw cotton for textile production, why not use pre-existing cotton? This is where the recycled cotton process begins.
1. pre-consumer; being cotton that has not been used by the end user, such as cotton cut offs or by-products from initial cotton production.
And 2. post-consumer; being cotton products that have already been used by the consumer for example used garments, soft furnishings or towels.
● Sorted by colour (By sorting the cotton by its colour before it is shredded and re-spun you avoid dying and drying the cotton again.)
● Shredded into fibres
● Re-spun into a yarn which can then be woven to make new material. As this recycled cotton is slightly weaker than raw cotton there will be some new fibres woven in the material the thicken it.
Something that could be seen as a negative with recycled cotton is inconsistency within the final woven material, because of the different origins of the cotton. However, this usually isn’t noticeable, and we think there’s something special about the uniqueness of recycled cotton products.
The importance of recycled cotton should not be overlooked. By using recycled cotton, you are continuing the loop and the lifecycle of an item. The material is given a new lease of life, rather than being discarded. It also avoids having to use resources to grow new crops in order to produce a product that could have been otherwise created using recycled cotton. A closed loop system lessens the need for using raw resources to grow crops and adverse environmental impacts, and in turn stops wasteful discarding of items which have not reached their full potential.