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Article: How to make clothes from plastic bottles

How to make clothes from plastic bottles

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word recycling?

Nowadays, there are more and more things around us that can be recycled, but plastic bottles have long been associated with being recyclable .

Recycled plastic bottles can be turned into various things. Clothes are one example . Even in the apparel industry, which is said to be the second most polluting industry in the world, the use of recycled materials made from plastic bottles is increasing one after another.

This time, KAPOK KNOT, a company that makes sustainable clothes, would like to introduce how to turn plastic bottles into clothes and where you can get the clothes !

How to recycle plastic bottles

First, let's look at how to recycle plastic bottles themselves. There are two main ways to recycle plastic bottles.

The first is horizontal recycling (bottle to bottle) . The collected PET bottles are turned back into raw materials and remade into PET bottles .
There are two ways to make PET bottles: ``chemical recycling'', in which washed and crushed PET bottles are broken down to the molecular level and regenerated as PET resin, and ``chemical recycling'', in which the PET bottles are heated to high temperatures after being crushed to remove contaminants attached to the PET resin. It can be divided into two types: ``mechanical recycling'' (physical regeneration method), which converts it into small particles.

The second is cascade recycling . This is a method of cleaning and crushing collected PET bottles into flakes, which are then reborn into various products other than PET bottles . Typical recycled products include food trays , egg cartons , and kitchen detergent bottles , as well as fibers used in clothing and bags .

In order to recycle in this way, we must properly separate and dispose of waste. Once again, we will introduce you to the correct way to separate and dispose of plastic bottles.

① Be sure to remove the cap and remove as much of the label as possible.

② Rinse inside

③Crush horizontally

④Discharge on the municipal PET bottle collection day

◎The ring under the cap is difficult to remove, so there is no need to force it.

◎Plastic bottles with white spouts can be put out as is (the white part can also be recycled)

How to turn plastic bottles into clothes

In the process of turning PET bottles into clothes, crushed and washed PET bottles are melted and turned into recycled polyester fibers .

Various chemical and material manufacturers are competing to develop this recycled fiber. Let me introduce an example.

■“ECOPET®️”/Teijin Frontier Ltd.

Source: Teijin Frontier Ltd.

ECOPET®️ is a recycled fiber made from used plastic bottles , unnecessary clothing , textile scraps , etc. It has been on the market since 1995 and is said to have the longest history of any recycled fiber in Japan. There are a wide variety of yarns and cottons, including materials with excellent functionality such as quick-drying and heat retention, and sensitive materials with characteristics such as swelling, firmness, and stiffness.


■“&+®️”/Toray Industries, Inc.

Source: Toray Industries, Inc.

“&+®️” is a recycled fiber that Toray began full-scale sales in 2020. Until now, Toray has been selling recycled fibers, but "&+®️" has introduced a newly developed "recycling identification system" to ensure traceability . By adding a special additive to the fiber raw material as a footprint, we have made it possible to detect "&+®️".

Examples of clothes made from plastic bottles

Now, let me introduce you to clothes that are actually made from plastic bottles.

■UNIQLO fleece items

Source: UNIQLO

Fleece is one of the products that made UNIQLO famous. Many of you probably know that fleece is made from polyester.

Starting in 2020, UNIQLO started using recycled polyester made from plastic bottles . ``Furry Fleece'' uses recycled polyester for 30% of its fabric.

In addition, some recycled polyester is used in items that sell quick-drying properties, such as the Dry EX Polo Shirt and Dry EX Crew Neck T-shirt.

■Reima children's clothing

Source: Remia

Reima is a Finnish children's clothing brand with a history of 75 years. While continuing to make clothes that are safe and comfortable for children, we are also focusing on efforts to protect the future of children .

One of the sustainable materials that Reima uses is "REPREVE fiber." A fiber made from plastic bottles, it is a highly functional material that has breathability, heat regulation, cushioning properties, and odor control effects.

Reima combines this fiber with other materials to create recycled products such as swimwear, T-shirts, and sweatshirts with UV protection.

■going plus setup suit

Source: goingplus

Going plus is a brand that provides a variety of products that are environmentally friendly and allow business people to make sustainable choices in their business settings. The starting point was a set-up suit made from 100% recycled polyester made from recycled PET bottles .

The 100% plastic bottle is an initiative that no other brand has ever made. Approximately 16 plastic bottles are recycled to make this suit.

There are also features unique to recycled polyester. Because it has excellent water absorption , even if you wash it at night, it will be dry the next morning, and because it is wrinkle-resistant , you can fold it into a suitcase and not see any wrinkles. It has added value not found in traditional business suits.


Thanks to advances in technology, recycled fibers have begun to have added value that traditional materials do not have . Many companies in the apparel industry are also starting to adopt it. We hope you've learned that products that not only reduce environmental impact but also have excellent functionality are being created one after another.

KAPOK KNOT MIYASHITA PARK STORE in Shibuya is a store where you can actually experience products that have a low environmental impact, including recycled fibers.

This store is also holding a reservation-only event, KNOT LAB, where you can experience Kapok, a new plant-based material used in products, and experience KAPOK KNOT's past initiatives firsthand !

At KAPOK KNOT MIYASHITA PARK STORE, we have a wide selection of products that are all about [design], [functionality], and [sustainability].

If you are interested, please come and visit us!

[KNOT LAB details]

  • [Address] SOUTH 2F, 6-20-10 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001
  • [Business hours] 11:30-20:30
  • Click here for KNOT LAB introduction page