Dubai-based DGrade recycles PET bottles into high-quality sustainable clothing
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Dubai-based DGrade recycles PET bottles into high-quality sustainable clothing

Dubai-based DGrade recycles PET bottles into high-quality sustainable clothing

Its Greenspun technology uses a process whereby plastic bottles are washed, shredded, melted into fibre and then spun into its trademarked Greenspun yarn

The sheer statistics around plastic pollution are staggering. According to National Geographic, half the total amount of plastic ever manufactured was done so over roughly the last decade-and-a-half. The global production of plastic has risen from 2.3 million tons in 1950 to 448 million tons in 2015, though worryingly it is projected to double that figure by 2050.

Here in Dubai, an SME that was started a little over a decade ago – DGrade – has established a process to take PET bottles and convert them into yarn that can be used to create high-quality fabrics.

Its Greenspun technology uses a process whereby plastic bottles are washed, shredded, melted into fibre and then spun into its trademarked Greenspun yarn.

DGrade is careful that the process it employs in converting these PET bottles into yarn reduces the impact on the environment. It says that its yarn-manufacturing process which effectively diverts plastic from landfills, is 50 per cent more energy efficient, uses 20 per cent less water and produces 55 per cent fewer carbon emissions compared to conventional polyester manufacturing – with the added bonus that it doesn’t use any oil too.

DGrade produces a wide range of textiles including shirts, trousers, caps, face masks, backpacks, carry bags, blankets, and towels. Among others. It can produce more than 200 different types of fabric from jersey, twill, canvas, and denim to fleece. The yarn can be treated further to make garments bacteria-resistant, UV-resistant, waterproof or even fire retardant giving the end products several use cases from uniforms and accessories to branded merchandise. Products are designed and produced according to client specifications and can be printed with custom logos and designs too.

DGrade sustainable clothing

Plastic recycling rates are reportedly less than 10 per cent across the GCC. DGrade is working to change that through its Simply Bottles recycling initiative by partnering with all types of organizations, events, and schools. Through its Simply Bottles recycling initiative DGrade collects, audits, and recycles plastic water bottles from companies, events, schools, and other organizations in the UAE and will expand to other countries in GCC over the next 1-2 years.

Choosing to go down the sustainable road, can make good business sense too for companies embarking on this path. Businesses have a vested interest in combating pollution and sourcing sustainably as governments and customers place a greater focus on sustainability and sustainable manufacturing processes.

DGrade’s Simply Bottles also creates awareness for plastic pollution and recycling through activities such as workshops, seminars, and desert clean-ups. The programme currently works with a range of clients and more than 180 schools in the UAE.

DGrade’s creations are already being recognized at the governmental level within the UAE. It collaborated with Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, whereby it established a recycling programme for the Formula 1 race held there and produced uniforms for staff at Yas Marina Circuit from the plastic collected during the event.

It was also appointed as the official Expo 2020 licensee, and its T-Shirts with the Expo logo are being offered for sale in the sustainability pavilion at the Expo.

Among upcoming plans for the Dubai-based company is the opening of its new DGrade factory in Kizad this May, in which DGrade will recycle PET plastic into PET flake. It’s going to take a mammoth global effort to reduce plastic waste. There are already promising beginnings being made in this region.

For more details about DGrade, click here

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