By now, everyone in the auto upholstery industry has heard of Repreve — the fabric made from recycled water bottles that Ford Motor Company uses to trim its new car interiors. However, not everyone knows where it comes from, how it’s made 0r what benefits it provides.
According to Unifi, Inc., the company that produces Repreve, the fabric is created by melting plastic water bottles, rearranging their molecules and shaping them into string composed of polyester and nylon fibers. That string is then used to weave a range of products — from clothes to seat covers.
The following video explains the entire process in detail:
Of course, the benefits of Repreve are that it gets rid of waste and eliminates the need to refine more crude oil to create polyester and nylon fibers. Compared to making synthetic fibers from scratch, Repreve uses less energy and water, and produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
For our purposes, Repreve is also soft, comfortable and easy to sew. In fact, most people can’t even tell the difference between a fabric made from melted water bottles or one manufactured from virgin polyester/nylon.
Don’t believe me? If you own any clothes made by The North Face, Roxy, Quicksilver, Volcom or Patagonia, chances are you’ve worn recycled water bottles and had no idea.
To learn more about Repreve, check out Unifi, Inc.‘s website.