"Eco-friendly" has been a hot topic in recent years. It is getting lots of attentions as our society understands the importance of protecting our environment, and avoiding the harm as much as possible when we interact with it.
When it comes to the commercial world, more and more companies are integrating the Eco-friendly concept into their products and services. Timberland, for example, is the pioneer of Eco-friendly products. They have their backpacks, bags and footwear made out of recycled or organic materials since 2007.
What is considered as Eco-Friendly product?
According to Green Retail Decisions, Eco-friendly is a colloquial term used to classify a product that will not cause damage to the environment. This term in practice indicates that the specific product attempts to reduce waste, or minimize carbon emissions, compared to competitive products.
WWF's sustainable shopping tips suggest consumers to buy products that are made from those recycled materials, because recycled products saves energy and resources and reduces waste.
So, how to make a Backpack Eco-Friendly?
The most straight forward way to make a backpack Eco-friendly is by using recycled materials. Some will consider products made from organic materials Eco-friendly as well. There are actually many suppliers out there who can offer these materials. So, developing an Eco-friendly backpack for your brand might be easier than you have thought.
The common choices of materials for backpack manufacturing are RPET (also known as Recycled Polyester), Recycled cotton and Organic cotton.
RPET (also known as Recycled Polyester)
RPET stands for recycled-PET. Most of our daily water bottles are made of PET (polyethylene terephthalate), and RPET is the material that we get from recycling our water bottles.
After sorting and cleaning, the collected bottles are being shred into "PET flakes". Then, the flakes would be melted into polyester fibers for manufacturing polyester fabric, polyester sheets, or back into PET bottles.
Approximately 7.5 million tons of PET were collected in 2011 worldwide. We can reduce lots of waste by recycling water bottles and turning them into new products.
RPET can be made into a wide range of fabrics that are suitable for manufacturing backpacks. RPET fabrics look and feel exactly the same as normal polyester fabrics. They also come in as 300D, 600D, ripstop and dobby pattern etc., just like normal polyester fabrics. Therefore, if you are planning to developing an Eco-friendly backpack for your Outdoor collection, RPET would be a way to go.
Recycled Cotton & Organic Cotton
If you do not like the look of synthetic fabric and you prefer to develop something that looks more natural, you can consider using fabric made out of recycled cotton, such as recycled canvas or recycled denim.
However, due to the fact that fibers created from recycling cotton wastes are relatively shorter and thus weaker, we usually do not use cotton fabric that has more than 30% recycled content. Also, it is better to use fabric with at least 12oz weight, to ensure the strength and durability of the backpack.Related Post: The Fabric Strength Challenge
On the other hand, it is possible to make a fabric out of 100% organic cotton. Organic cotton fabric is actually cheaper than recycled cotton fabric, and it has exactly the same strength as normal cotton fabric. Therefore, when developing an Eco-friendly backpack, organic cotton fabric is also a nice choice to consider.
Developing an Eco-friendly backpack is easy
All it takes is a bag manufacturer with the corresponding knowledge and experience. We have been manufacturing Eco-friendly bags and backpacks since 2009. Please contact us if you want to know more about our company, our services and/or our products.
Remember to ask for Proof of Certification
Since Eco-friendly fabrics look just like normal fabrics, to ensure that you are getting what you are paying for, always work with suppliers who can provide proofs. Suppliers should be able to provide either third-party certifications or proofs of their source of the Eco-friendly raw materials.
As global citizens, it is our responsibility to protect our environment and to ensure sustainability. Making products out of Eco-Friendly materials is a good place to start. We are not only reducing waste, conserving energy and water, but also helping to promote this concept to our society. Let's work together to create a better world.