Thanks a billion! Polartec recycles its’ billionth bottle

The material whizzes Polartec have used one billion clear plastic bottles, destined for landfill, in the production of its high quality fabrics, which are used by some pretty major brands in their outdoor wear.

Polartec has been recycling plastic bottles and using the waste to produce high quality fabrics since 1993.  Back then demand was low and technology was in its infancy resulting in scratchy fabric that felt recycled.  Then in 2010, Polartec’s determination to reduce waste, carbon emissions and energy consumption resulted in the partnership with Unifi Inc to produce high quality recycled fleece, using recycled content.  Voila; Repreve 100 was born and Polartec was able to use a yarn using 100 percent clear plastic bottles that felt great and could offer customers a wider range of styles and colours.


British brands, including Rab, Montane and Mountain Equipment use Polartec Repreve 100 in their collections from base layers through to outer protection garments.  International brands, such as Patagonia and Norrona were early adopters back in the 1990’s and big supporters of the Polartec recycled offering and continue to be so.

Polartec’s commitment to minimising its impact on the environment gained the company Oeko-Tex 100 Certification in 2005 and they have been Bluesign AG certified since 2008.

“In the US over 40 billion plastic bottles are destined for landfill this year.  One fortieth of this total amount seems a drop in the ocean but it’s a start,” claims Alessandro Perseo, Polartec European Marketing Manager.  “We are keen to continue our upward trend and increase our commitment to make better use of what’s already been used.  Here’s to the next billion.”


In the UK nearly 5 billion plastic bottles were sent to landfill in 2012.   Here’s what you can do with one billion recycled bottles:

  • Stacked end-to-end, they would reach halfway to the moon.
  • Wrap them around the world five times.
  • Create 27 million new fleece jackets.

Polartec’s green credentials:

  • electricity consumption down 24% since 2009.
  • new dyeing equipment means 50% less water used.
  • Global hang tag program uses reduced sized recycled tags pushing paper consumption down by 60%.
  • 85% production waste is recycled.
  • Oeko-Tex 100 Certified since 2005.
  • Bluesign® AG certified since 2008.