Popular clothing store Uniqlo announced their plans to make a clothing line that is made from recycled plastic bottles. This clothing line will include shirts and jackets. The announcement came from Fast Retailing Co., the operator of the casual apparel chain of Uniqlo. They also stated that the clothes that are made from used plastic bottles would be produced in cooperation with Toray Industries Inc. so that they can deliver the new sustainability commitment.
Toray Industries Inc. is a textile and fiber company that supplies materials for aircraft. They are also responsible for developing technology and turning seawater into freshwater. They also recycle plastic bottles and turn them into polyester fibers, which are made into Dry-Ex, a fabric that quickly wicks moisture and sweat away from the body.
Uniqlo held a press conference in London last month, and they stated that they are already starting to create the clothing line made from recycled plastic bottles. The Japanese fashion retail giant will introduce their sweat-wicking Dry-Ex products that are made from polyethylene fibers that they got from PET bottles that were reclaimed.
This project is just the start of the long partnership from Uniqlo and Toray, as their goal is to create as many eco-friendly products as possible. Uniqlo added that their Japanese customers had normalized the process of recycling, so they make sure that the plastics that they throw away are cleaned, and the labels are removed, a practice that is not common worldwide.
The products have fibers that are made with advanced technologies; this is to make sure that the impurities have been properly removed before they are manufactured. Uniqlo will first use the new fibers with their Dry-Ex line of quick-drying clothing; next is the products are expected to be worn and endorsed by athletes with contracts with the company, including tennis player Roger Federer
This move by the fashion retailer can help reduce the number of plastic bottles that are thrown out every year. Studies show that around 100 billion bottles are sold every year, and 800 million tons of those plastic bottles are thrown in the ocean. Because of this, it affects our marine life, and it also pollutes our water.
With this step, there is a chance that other fashion retailers will follow. Uniqlo also phased out their plastic bags, and they use less water to stone wash their denim—they are taking numerous steps in order to reduce waste.
This is not the first time that Toray and Uniqlo have teamed up. Toray Industries Inc. and Uniqlo have worked together for more than 15 years on some of Uniqlo's products, including Heattech underwear and Ultra Light Down jackets and vests.