Tee-Cycle shirts are part of Patagonia’s commitment to creating a circular economy, and are made of discarded tees destined for the landfill, with a mind to helping solve the textile waste problem.
“The cotton fabric in our Tee-Cycle tees has already been out in the world, so there’s no need to extract anything new to make them,” the company says. “Instead, we take the old tees you bring us and use them to create Infinna fibre, combine it with factory cotton scraps, and make brand-new shirts out of 100% recycled materials.
The T-shirts are Fair Trade Certified sewn and comprise 70% pre-consumer recycled cotton and 30% Infinna post-consumer recycled cotton, which helps reduce textile industry waste and lower carbon emissions compared to using virgin cotton, Patagonia explains. Screen-print inks are also PVC- and phthalate-free.
“We transformed discarded T-shirts into fabric to create this soft tee, which can be recycled into a new T-shirt at the end of its useful life; this T-shirt is part of our goal to create a closed-loop process for clothing,” the company continues.
The launch all feeds into Patagonia’s Take-Back programme, which upcycles old Patagonia T-shirts into the company’s new Tee-Cycle collection.
Launched in summer 2021, the programme allows the company to recycle its old cotton products while supporting recycling chains for apparel waste. The items are sent to Infinited Fiber, Patagonia’s Finland-based supply-chain partner, that recycles the material from the used tees into Infinna Fiber. These are then combined with factory cotton scraps to create the Tee-Cycle collection.
In June, Patagonia signed a multi-year deal for textile waste fibre with Infinited Fiber Company.
The multi-year sales deal guarantees outdoor apparel company Patagonia access to the limited-supply fibre over the coming years. It also secures future sales income for circular fashion and textile technology group Infinited Fiber Company as it ramps up production.