If you've spent any time browsing our site – and since you're checking out the blog, I think we can safely assume you have – you may have noticed that SCALES PRO Performance shirts are made with 100% RPET fabric. However, you might not know exactly what that means. (I had to look it up myself.) RPET stands for "recycled PET," or recycled polyethylene terephthalate, and it reflects SCALES' commitment to sustainable products and the conservation of natural resources. How could a word with so many syllables possibly be good for the environment? PET is from the polyester family and it's the same type of plastic that's used to make water bottles. Unfortunately, along with plastic bags, water bottles and other plastic food containers are among the most common sources of marine debris. Since SCALES loves the ocean just as much as you do, we make sure those bottles get sent on a different path.
The first step, obviously, is recycling those bottles. When they reach the recycling center, a scanner sorts them by the type of plastic they're made from (PET is Plastic #1, one of the most common types.) The PET is then crushed and baled up to be sent to the plastic recycler. Those recyclers will then shred the crushed bottles into flakes, which are washed, rinsed, and dried through several cycles to get rid of contaminants and moisture, both of which would ruin the final product. By the time they reach the end of this process, those flakes have become hard, dry pellets and they're ready to begin a new life.
The pellets are melted down into liquid form, which is then forced through a heated die. This part of the process is pretty similar to those Play Doh spaghetti presses back in the day and results in extremely fine filaments, which are twisted into yarn and spooled up. At this point, the feel of the RPET is close to dental floss, but after a heat treatment and some respooling, that stiffness is worked out and the RPET is ready to be woven into clothing.
So that's the journey from bottle to fabric. 22 plastic water bottles go into each SCALES PRO Performance shirt. That's 22 bottles that won't make their way to your favorite spot or the belly of your catch. And it's one more way SCALES is taking care of every degree of water.