Recycled polyester/polyamide

Polyester fiber made a name for itself as the miracle fabric of the 1970s that “can be worn for 68 days without ironing.” The days of brightly colored training overalls and dazzling suits are (fortunately) over, but the popularity of polyester fabric is on the rise again due to ongoing trends such as “athleisure”. According to the environmental organization Greenpeace, 60% of clothing worldwide is made from synthetic fibers. But what exactly makes a synthetic fiber artificial and what differentiates it from natural fibers?

recycled polyester

What is Polyester?

Anyone who thinks that polyester is just polyester is wrong. Polyester is a generic term for very different types of synthetic fibers. PET is often used for textiles, a plastic that you may also know from plastic bottles in the supermarket.

Using the melt spinning process, the crude oil-based polyester granules are first liquefied and then passed through a cold air shaft. The drop in temperature allows the material to harden and be spun into fiber form. The shape of the spinneret determines the fineness, shine and feel of the fiber. In contrast to natural fibers, chemically produced fibers are infinitely long and therefore particularly elastic.

The advantages of polyester

Due to its particular ease of care and high resistance, polyester fiber has long been considered a miracle material. But the chemical fiber has even more to offer:

  • Despite its great robustness, the fiber is very light
  • The fibers are easy to dye and impress with rich colors
  • Polyester garments retain their shape even after many wears
  • Quick-drying and therefore often used for outdoor or sportswear
  • In contrast to cotton, polyester only has a low absorbency. Sweat is therefore automatically directed to the outside. The inside of the sportswear does not become waterlogged, which can cause an unpleasant chill after exercise or even in small gusts of wind.

The disadvantages of chemical fiber:

However, like many other materials used in the fashion industry, polyester also has its downsides. Above all, the poor ecological balance of chemical fibers is rightly criticized.

  • Consumption of finite resources: 100 million barrels of crude oil are used annually to produce polyester. 70% of this goes into the production of synthetic fibers in the textile industry
  • High energy consumption during production
  • Poor biodegradability. Man-made fibers are particularly resistant. However, this also has the disadvantage that items of clothing made from polyester take several hundred years to rot.
  • Increased release of microplastics. Fine plastic particles can come off during washing. These enter our environment via wastewater and pollute our soil and water.

Recycled polyester: the solution to all problems?

We are aware of the problem of using chemical fibers and try to avoid their use as much as possible. Natural alternatives with the same properties are still very difficult to find, especially in the sports and functional areas.

We are already working hard on developing a collection made from plant-based polyester. Meanwhile, we use high quality, 100% recycled polyester to produce our OGNX sportswear. You can find out what distinguishes recycled polyester from new here.

Sustainable polyester clothing from OGNX
At OGNX you will find functional leggings, bras, shirts and jackets made from recycled polyester.

What is recycled polyester and how is it obtained?

The use of “ocean plastic” to produce individual products is now common practice for many sporting goods manufacturers and is marketed accordingly in the media. In addition to recycled plastic containers and bottles, which receive a lot of public attention, a large proportion of recycled fibers come from post-industrial waste, which includes, for example, production residues or components from overproduction. OGNX has been using recycled fibers to produce our functional clothing for many years. The reuse of all raw materials and the enablement of a consistent circular economy is a fundamental pillar of our corporate philosophy and is by no means just a media-effective marketing measure.

There are two ways to recycle PET: mechanically and chemically.

  • During mechanical recycling, the PET is shredded, washed and melted into a polyester chip. This is finally hardened and spun into new fibers
  • The chemical recycling process is somewhat more complex and therefore more expensive. Here the plastic waste is returned to its original monomers (continuous fibers) and is then indistinguishable from new polyester. To produce the fiber, the monomers go through the original fiber extraction process.

Advantages and disadvantages of recycled polyester

Recycled polyester also has disadvantages. In principle, however, the manufacturing process is significantly more energy-efficient than producing new fibers.

Advantages Disadvantages
By recycling the polyester fiber, it is given a second life and it does not end up in the trash

Only pure fibers can be recycled. The separation of mixed fibers is very complex and is therefore not used

The quality of the polyester fiber remains largely the same. This makes recycled fibers almost as durable as new fibers

The plastics to be recycled are separated according to color. However, the individual nuances can vary greatly, so chlorine bleach must be used to balance the color qualities.

59% fewer resources are used during the recycling process.
Even after being recycled several times, the fiber continues to release microplastics


The chemical fiber (PET) impresses with its high resistance and ease of care. T-shirts, jackets, bras and pants made of polyester wick moisture away, dry very quickly and are usually lightweight. These advantages make man-made fibers almost indispensable for the sports industry. By recycling plastic waste or industrial waste, energy can be saved during production and old, unusable polyester fibers can be given a second life. Many of the aspects that criticize man-made fibers, especially from an ecological perspective, can be reduced or even avoided entirely.

Only high-quality and chemical-free rPES is used to use the OGNX sports collection. The long-term goal is also to reduce this and switch fully to continuous plant fibers.

TIP: More and more manufacturers are offering special, fine-mesh laundry bags online that prevent the release of microplastics.