Polyester is made from plastic, specifically PET. Polyester is often compared to nylon. The fabrics are similar, but polyester can have a wider range of uses, though it’s not quite as durable.
Since the 70s, polyester has become increasingly common in the clothing industry due to its low cost. Nearly half of the world’s clothing is made from polyester. In many applications, polyester is combined with other fabrics to give it various qualities like softness or stretchiness. Clothing is already very difficult to recycled due to a lack of dedicated waste streams, but when polyester is combined with another fiber (be it natural or synthetic) it is virtually unrecyclable.
Recycled polyester (rPET) has become more common, especially in apparel industry with stretchy clothes workout clothes and swimsuits being made from recycled plastic bottles. Some virgin polyester or other fabric types may be required to achieve desired performance.
Reusable applications (tote bags, fabric zipper bags, etc.)