How T-shirts are made
99% of T-shirts aren't recycled. Welcome to the 1%
T-shirt production works on a linear model where products are made, used, then thrown into landfill, and this leaves us with problems. There is limited space on Earth, and filling it with over 2 billion tons of waste a year doesn't seem to us the best use of the space. Consider the cost of trash on a global scale - not just environmental, but material and financial, too. A linear supply chain where things are designed to be thrown away reduces resources, turns them into trash and trashes nature at our expense. It doesn’t really make sense. That’s why when we make t-shirts, we make them in a different way.
At Rebel Printerz, we’ve redesigned the clothing supply chain to be circular, where new products are made from worn out material so instead of creating waste, we just make new products from it. Products are made up of materials, and those materials are valuable, so by saving and reusing material, we can save money. That means we can afford to use natural organic materials, renewable energy and sustainable packaging. It means we save the environment from landfills too. Damaged stock is recycled at local recycling points or given to local charities like Shelter to sell on our to be sent to rag and sold for a small profit.
T-shirts are an iconic piece of clothing that are loved and worn by people around the world. Have you ever wondered how these comfortable and versatile garments are made? In this article, we will delve into the fascinating journey of T-shirt production, covering the main materials used, including cotton, polyester, and organic options. Understanding the manufacturing process behind T-shirts can deepen our appreciation for these everyday essentials.
Cotton: The Classic Choice Cotton is one of the most widely used materials in the textile industry, and it remains a popular choice for T-shirt production. The journey of a cotton T-shirt starts with the cultivation of cotton plants. These plants undergo a process of cultivation, flowering, and boll formation, leading to the growth of cotton fibres within the bolls.
Once the cotton is harvested, it goes through a series of processes to transform it into yarn. The cotton fibres are separated, cleaned, and spun into yarn, which is then dyed to achieve the desired colour. The yarn is then woven or knitted into fabric panels, which serve as the foundation for T-shirt production. These panels are cut into pattern pieces, stitched together, and finished with hems and cuffs to create the final T-shirt.
Polyester: The Synthetic Alternative In recent years, polyester has gained popularity as a material for T-shirts. Polyester is a synthetic fibre derived from petrochemicals, making it distinct from natural fibres like cotton. The production process for polyester involves the polymerization of chemicals, which are then melted and extruded to form long filaments.
Polyester has several advantages over cotton. It is known for its durability, wrinkle resistance, and ability to retain shape and colour over time. Moreover, polyester is often blended with other fibres, such as cotton, to create fabrics that combine the best properties of both materials. T-shirts made from polyester blends offer enhanced moisture-wicking properties, making them suitable for active wear and sports activities.
Organic T-shirts: A Sustainable Choice In recent years, the demand for organic clothing has surged, reflecting a growing concern for sustainable and eco-friendly practices. Organic cotton is cultivated without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Instead, organic farming methods prioritize soil health, water conservation, and biodiversity.
The production process of organic T-shirts follows a similar path as conventional cotton. However, the cultivation and processing of organic cotton involve rigorous certifications to ensure compliance with organic standards. Organic T-shirts offer a natural, hypoallergenic option for those with sensitive skin, while also promoting environmentally friendly practices.
Conclusion: From cotton to polyester and organic options, T-shirts undergo a complex journey from raw materials to the finished garment. Understanding the production process sheds light on the versatility and choices available in the world of T-shirts. Whether you prefer the classic comfort of cotton, the durability of polyester blends, or the sustainability of organic cotton, there is a T-shirt out there to suit your style and values. So next time you slip on your favourite tee, take a moment to appreciate the craftsmanship and materials that come together to create this timeless wardrobe staple.