Recycled polyester VS Virgin polyester.

Polyester is a synthetic fiber that proceeding from oil and patented in the ‘40s. Since its introduction, its use has grown exponentially with multiple uses, such as the production of fabrics for the sports textile industry.

The main attributes that make polyester fabrics the best allies of the athletes are: resistance to abrasion, easy care and above all the fact that it is the fiber that absorbs less moisture and for this reason expels sweat more easily.

But let’s be honest: a synthetic fiber that comes from non-renewable sources like it is oil, is really sustainable?

The answer is definitely no.

So, what’s the alternative to virgin polyester?

When we started to conceive The Running Republic, it was clear that although polyester and polyamide were the best fibers in sports apparel, we didn’t want to introduce new contaminating materials into the environment, especially regarding the current global emergency in terms of plastic pollution.


After months of investigation, we realized that the solution was recycled Polyester and recycled Polyamide. After months of studying and dozens of meetings with fabric suppliers we understood this:


  1. The technical attributes of recycled polyester of: consistency, elasticity, resistance to abrasion, moisture non-absorption and dye fastness are equal to those of virgin polyester.
  2. Using recycled polyester means not introducing new oil into the environment in the order of just over one liter per kilo of recycled material.
  3. If we use post-consumer recycled polyester (we will explain in future posts the difference between Pre and Post-Consumer recycled polyester), waste is collected from the environment to produce the recycled material (one kilo of waste per kilo of recycled material).
  4. Using recycled polyester saves energy throughout all the production processes by 50% compared to virgin polyester.
  5. Using recycled polyester reduces CO2 emissions by 70%, and we all know that CO2 one of the main causes of climate change and greenhouse effects.

Sustainability serving Performance.

So, is recycled polyester the only option when developing sustainable sportswear?

Currently, natural fibers such as Merino wool or Tencel are possible options due to their properties similar to those of polyester, although today there is no natural fiber or treated natural fiber that has the moisture control of polyester (or polyamide) and therefore can be applied with high performance to sports textile.


At the moment, at The Running Republic we are beginning to develop products with natural fibers, especially to be able to remove the problem of plastic micro-particles, but because we believe above all in quality and functionality of the products that we deliver to runners who trust us, we don't want to launch any product until we are completely sure of their sports performance.

The Running Republic is sustainability serving Performance.

If you are a man here and if you are a woman here, you can see our Tech Hoodie, an extremely technical second layer for sports in medium and low temperatures, perfect for warming or just to approximate the gym. 

Here you can see a review of this garment made by Foroatletismo.


To know more you can read:

https://ethicallysustained.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/polyester-and-recycled-polyester/

http://thenewfashionnorm.com/2017/03/23/recycled-polyester-pros-and-cons/

https://fashionunited.uk/news/fashion/how-sustainable-is-recycled-polyester/2018111540000