Polyester can be recycled in one of two ways, requiring fewer resources than that of new fibres and generating fewer CO2 emissions:
For mechanical recycling, plastic is melted to make new yarn. This process can only be done a few times before the fibre loses its quality.Chemical recycling involves breaking down the plastic molecules and reforming them into yarn. This process maintains the quality of the original fiber and allows the material to be recycled infinitely, but it is more expensive.
Most recycled polyester textile (in particular rPet) is not made of re-calibrated polyester cloth, but from recycled plastic bottles
Preferred Cotton types comprise up to 22% of total cotton produced – some 5,967 of 26,664 mts, a 400% increase in five years. It is grown in 30 countries in 2017/18, but more than 95 percent of all preferred cotton was grown in ten countries: Brazil, China, Pakistan, India, USA, Australia, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, and Turkey.
Cotton can also be recycled to make new yarn and garments, although there is not very much of it (only 0.7% of total global cotton is recycled) and the quality of recycled cotton is lower, so it often needs to be blended with virgin or preferred cotton or recycled polyester.