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Eco-friendly bags and clothes: what materials should be favored?

matières écologiques sacs et vêtements

At a time when the need to promote the circular economy is more present than ever, do you really know what are the most ecological materials, especially for your bags and clothes?

There are many materials; biobased, biodegradable, compostable

In this article, we help you to see more clearly!

Before that, it is important to underline a topic about which we do not speak enough: the lack of recycling channels, especially in France.

For example, only 38% of the nearly 750000 tons of textile thrown away each year are recovered.

Fortunately, there are some materials that are easier to recycle, what are they?

The paper: one of the most recycled materials

Each year, a French person consumes an average of 130kg of paper or nearly 9 million tons for the entire French population.

Fortunately for the planet, this material is one of the most recycled with a recycling rate of around 70%.

Do you know that we can recycle paper up to 7 times?

After being collected, the paper is stored in a center to be crushed and dissolved in water and additives. Then, the flakes obtained are passed through a sieve and undergo a chemical and threat treatment in order to remove the ink. Last step: once dried, they are transformed into a reel of new paper.

Recycled paper is used especially to produce paper bags, envelopes, corrugated cardboard or even toilet paper and handkerchief.

To preserve our environment, be sure to sort your papers, magazines, and other recyclable materials, in your yellow bin provided for this purpose.  

Please note that paper damaged by humidity and dirt cannot be recycled. It should therefore not be thrown in your selective collection, to not degrade the fibers of your other recyclable waste.

Cotton among the favorite textile fibers. However, it is so environmentally friendly?

The environmental concern fosters the craze for natural materials such as cotton.

This biobased material makes it possible to design textile, bags and many other products.

However, be aware that cotton production is not without impact on our environment. Cotton cultivation requires a large amount of water, and generally swallows up a large amount of  pesticides.

It is therefore important to make sure that we use GOTS certified organic cotton, like the bags and textile items that we offer you!

If the combination of several materials in the same product makes recycling more complex, cotton has the possibility to be recycled in Europe. Recycling cotton obviously requires much less water than its initial production, and especially no pesticides.

Products made from recycled cotton can contain up to 70%.

Before recycling a product that you no longer use, remember that it is always more ecological to promote the second hand (or upcyling)!

Polyester: a material to avoid?

Polyester is a synthetic fiber obtained from petrochemicals. It represents 70% of artificial textile fibers used in our clothing.

This material, much appreciated for its strength, is often criticized because it is manufactured with highly polluting chemicals. It also diffuses plastic microparticles in our washing machines and therefore in the oceans.

What about recycled polyester?

Recycled polyester is made from used clothing, fabric scraps, also plastic bottles (RPET). Seen like this, it is a very good option to clean the oceans!

RPET products, like our shopping bags, are 100% recyclable.

However, recycled polyester still has some negative aspects.

Polyester especially loses quality when it is recycled. That is why it is particularly difficult to design a product in recycled polyester without the slightest addition of virgin material.

Another negative point: recycled polyester clothes emit just as many microparticles as polyester clothes when they are washed. This material is therefore more suitable for products that you wash less often (such as bags).

If you can, favor natural materials as much as possible for your clothes.

It is obvious that there is no perfect eco-friendly material.

Nevertheless, it is important to ensure that the manufacture of our products does not consume too much energy, and our products are biodegradable or compostable. We must also rethink our way of consumption: reuse then recycle.

While recycling channels tend to develop, they are currently unable to cope with the phenomenon of overconsumption. Also keep in mind that a product is not endlessly recyclable. Therefore, the best solution will always be to consume less!

Do you want to act in an eco-responsible way? Some tips:

  • Buy only the products you really need;
  • Make sure that these are respectful of the environment (production and end of life);
  • Reuse as much as possible;
  • Upcycle if possible;
  • Think second-hand;
  • Otherwise: recycle.

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