What has a PET bottle to do with a babywearing cover or jacket? A lot – at least in case of our manduca by MaM babywearing covers. We are talking about upcycling, the creative utilization of “waste” by turning them into new products. Combining resource conservation with creativity, upcycling has been a trend for some years. The producers of our manduca by MaM babywearing cover and jackets, too, have become upcyclers: For some of their products they use PET bottles in the production process.
Reducing the ecological footprint with PET recycling

Recycling – a long-time trend

Saving resources and sustainability are popular issues also for the textile industry. All of us are familiar with recycling systems: already used raw materials are used in order to produce similar products and to bring them into the market again. Depending on the material and the product, the recycling methods upcycling or downcycling are employed: If the new product is of higher quality and value, we call it upcycling. And if the product is of less quality, we call it downcycling. Paper recycling is an example for “downcycling”, if the recycled paper is not as tear-proof as before. The disadvantage of downcycling is that at some point, too much energy and material is required for the recycling process.

Upcycling in series: MaM babywearing jackets

manduca by MaM ColdWeatherInsert

Here, too, bottles have been turned into fleece: the cosy ColdWeatherInsert.

Upcycling – the converting of waste and old products into a high-value product is possible not only in projects such as the restoring of a piece of furniture. The upcyling practice works for series production, too.

Following this thought, the producers of our manduca by MaM babywearing jackets and covers have integrated upcycling in their production process. They paid special attention to the fact that the used raw materials were from actual used products, and not material that is especially produced just to meet the recycling demand.

In our product range, we offer three MaM babywearing garments that are manufactured according to this upcycling practice: The warm and cosy babywearing cover „ColdWeatherInsert“, the popular and versatile Two-Way Deluxe Jacket, and the weatherproof Deluxe Cover are each produced with 30% recycled fibers.

And this is where the above mentioned PET bottles come in: MaM uses PET bottles that are actually used bottles, collected to a large part in Taiwan. These bottles are cleaned, dried, and then melted. The melted materials were then spun into fibers that are being used for the polyester fleece in MaM covers and in the Two-Way Jacket.

Recycled fibres in MaM babywearing garments

This is real contribution to environment protection! Because upcycling provides more than one benefit, direct and indirect ones:

  • • resource conservation: fossil resources are being protected (oil for synthetic materials is getting scarce)
  • • climate protection: PET-Recycling reduces CO2-emission, because the used bottles don’t go as waste to the landfills
  • • the upcycling process may even create new jobs

An interesting graphic on the life cycle of a PET bottle and the benefits of PET recycling for the environment can be found here.

Upcycling: hype or hope?

Upcycling is not a new discovery, but a rediscovered practice. Already in the past, new clothes were being made out of curtains or an old coat would become trousers for children. Then, in the 90s, upcycling boomed, and today, it is a real hype with fashion and furniture designers. Although here the focus is more on unique designs than on the idea of protecting resources, upcycling is still making sense, because it combines resource employment with outbound creativity. And it’s fun, too, as there are many DIY ideas around upcycling. There are virtually no limits to fantasy and possibilities to bring old things to a new life – be inspired:

In short: PET Recycling pays off! And last but not least, the MaM ColdWeatherInsert, Deluxe Cover and the Two-Way Deluxe Jacket are great babywearing garments that make you enjoy babywearing in the cold season. After all, the winter is not over yet.