There are plenty of fabrics that are used for sustainable leggings; these include organic cotton, bamboo, hemp, and others; however, When it comes to recycled fabric leggings, we are left with two options: recycled polyester and recycled polyamide also known as nylon. Both of these fabrics are excellent choices and will make an excellent pair of leggings. At The Running Republic, we use these materials as the main fabrics for our leggings. In addition to being eco-friendly, there are many advantages from using this type of leggings.
Leggings made of recycled polyester
As we said, recycled polyester is a top choice for durable and comfortable leggings. For extra elasticity and durability, recycled polyester is blended with spandex as a secondary fiber. Spandex by itself is not eco-friendly but the percentage used to make the fabric is small ranging from 10-20%. The resulting fabric is also breathable and moisture wicking both desirable properties for recycled fabric leggings. The recycled polyester takes about 59% less energy to manufacture and leaves a smaller carbon print than regular n on recycled materials.
How is recycled polyester made?
Recycled polyester comes mainly from recycled bottles collected at a recycled plant. Then, the bottles are turned into flakes and melted into colored pellets. The last step turns the pellets into yarn which is used to make sustainable clothing. The produced fabrics have the same qualities as the virgin materials.
Leggings made of recycled nylon
Recycled nylon is an excellent choice for recycled fabric leggings. When compared to polyester it tends to be stronger, more durable, and weather resistant. Nylon leggings also feature great elasticity and lightness. Just like polyester, the fabric is usually blended with spandex for added elasticity, comfort, and performance. The fabric is moisture wicking but it can become saturated after intense workouts.
How is recycled nylon made?
Most recycled nylon comes from used fishing nets, carpets, and other fabric scraps that are dumped into landfills and oceans. The collected material goes through a processing plant where it is regenerated and purified to restore its original properties. Then, it is turned into yarn that can be used in clothing.
Doing a little research, I have found these companies are working with circular economy principles to dispose of fishing nets to processing plants that will produce yarn for ethical clothing.
Why is recycled nylon more expensive than recycled polyester?
For reasons related to polymer chemistry, recycled nylon is often more complicated to produce than recycled polyester and therefore more expensive. As we mentioned before, the recycled materials need to go through a regeneration purification process. This is done to restore the qualities of the original nylon and ensure it is free of contaminants and bacteria. As a result, end consumers end up paying a higher price for the clothing.Don´t forget to visit us at Running Republic and check out our leggings collection for men and women. Follow our social networks on Facebook and Instagram.