What is polyester?

By definition, the term “polyester” covers a group of polymers (set of molecules) used particularly in textile manufacturing.

Made from (non energy) petroleum-derived chemicals, polyester is used in several of our manufacturing processes, particularly textiles and heavy stitching. The CO2 impact of this material is significant, and its manufacture contributes to the depletion of resources. It’s important we strive for independence from fossil fuels, anticipate potential future regulations, and respond to sports users’ environmental concerns, while continuing to innovate through our choice of manufacturing and recycling processes and circular economy procedures.

the aim
« “By 2021, products sold in France will be made using 100% sustainable polyester.” »

At the end of 2017, 9.4% of our polyester supplies came from more sustainable sources.

To achieve this objective, we need to prioritise recycled polyester as well as virgin or regenerated dope-dyed polyester.

Towards more environmentally friendly dyes

Water management is a vital issue for our planet. An average of between 100 and 150 litres of water is needed to dye a kilogram of textiles, depending on the type of fabric. That’s why our teams are working to find innovative new processes that minimise water usage and pollution during manufacturing.

Dope-dyed polyester:

In this spun-dyed process, so as to reduce the amount of water used in making the item, it is the fibre that is actually coloured and not the fabric. This can be achieved by adding insoluble pigments to the polyester.

This technique can use up to 60% less water and considerably reduce the amount of CO2 emitted. It also means that the item’s color can last longer.

What’s more, it’s often combined with the “biton” technique, where the garment is dyed using two fibres of different colors, in order to create a third.

Dry-dyed polyester:

This spun-dyed process involves liquefying CO2 by subjecting it to high pressure. The textile, dye and CO2 are all placed in large vats. The pressure is increased to 250 bars, compared with an external pressure of 1 bar. The CO2 becomes liquid and the dye dissolves.

Inside the reservoir, this liquid is pumped by a motor to make it circulate, and the polyester absorbs the dye.

The “supercritical CO2” process brings about several environmental benefits:

– A 40% reduction in energy consumption

– A reduction in the use of chemicals

– No need to use water for the dyeing phase