A Tasty Polyester for Microbes…

We as a society purchase an enormous amount of clothing.  What happens to all the clothing that we have decided is no longer of any use? Polyester seems to be one of the biggest problems because it takes so long to disintegrate. However, it does seem to work better in active wear especially as a replacement for down which when wet becomes totally useless. The company PrimaLoft has been manufacturing polyester based active wear using recycled plastic bottles as its main source. The company realized that this does not solve the problem since it only creates more polyester clothing. Now PrimaLoft is taking it a step further. There is a microbe that finds polyester desirable as a food source, but the consumption of the fabric is extremely slow. Through experimentation the thin fibers of polyester are being made in combination with sugar. Tests were conducted in two environments. In a landfill 86% of the fiber was digested and in a marine environment 57% was consumed. This was in a period of 499 days. The company plans to continue its experimenting until there is absolutely nothing that remains that is a threat to the environment. L.L. Bean is just one of the companies that plans to start selling garments made out of this new fabric. Hopefully designers will start to be more conscientious of what fabrics they use and how they later affect the planet.