What is Polyester?

What is Polyester?

Polyester Fabric: Environmental Impact and Sustainable Alternatives

Polyester fabric is a synthetic textile made from polyester fibers, which are derived from petroleum-based chemicals. It is one of the most widely used fabrics in the world due to its durability, wrinkle resistance, and affordability. However, the environmental impact of polyester production and use is a growing concern.

Environmental Impact

One of the major environmental issues associated with polyester fabric is microplastic pollution. When polyester garments are washed, they shed tiny fibers called microfibers. These microfibers are too small to be filtered out by wastewater treatment plants and end up in rivers, lakes, and oceans. Marine animals often mistake these microfibers for food, leading to ingestion and potential harm to marine life.

In addition to microplastic pollution, the production of polyester has a significant carbon footprint. The production process requires large amounts of energy, primarily sourced from fossil fuels, and releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Furthermore, the chemicals used in polyester production, such as antimony trioxide and dimethyl terephthalate, can be harmful to both the environment and human health.

Sustainable Alternatives

To address the environmental impact of polyester, several sustainable alternatives have emerged:

  1. Recycled Polyester (rPET): Recycled polyester is made from recycled plastic bottles and other post-consumer plastic waste. By using recycled materials, rPET reduces the amount of plastic waste in landfills and oceans. It also requires less energy and water to produce compared to virgin polyester.

    At Good Chic, we have an extensive collection of recycled polyester fashion products, including t-shorts and shoes.

  2. Bio-based Polyester: Bio-based polyester is made from renewable sources such as corn, sugarcane, or other plant-based materials. This type of polyester has a lower carbon footprint compared to traditional polyester, as it reduces reliance on fossil fuels.

  3. Blended Fabrics: Another approach to reducing the environmental impact of polyester is to blend it with natural fibers such as organic cotton or hemp. This can help improve the biodegradability of the fabric and reduce the overall environmental impact.


While polyester fabric offers many benefits, its environmental impact cannot be ignored. By choosing recycled or bio-based polyester alternatives, consumers can help reduce the environmental harm associated with polyester fabric. Additionally, supporting brands that prioritize sustainable practices can drive positive change in the textile industry. Making informed choices and supporting sustainable alternatives can lead us towards a more environmentally friendly future.

Check our recycled polyester products