How One Company in Dubai Uses Innovative Technology to Turn Empty Plastic Bottles Into Clothing

DGrade was established in 2010 and aims to create sustainable solutions while reducing plastic pollution.

In an effort to further sustainability, a Dubai-based firm is making t-shirts, face masks, and caps out of recycled plastic bottles. They do this using a new greenspun yarn technology to replace polyester yarn.

DGrade was established in 2010 and aims to create sustainable solutions while reducing plastic pollution.

"Here at DGrade, we recycle PET plastic (polyethylene terephthalate)," Emma Barber, the managing director of DGrade, said. "We take plastic bottles, and we take them to our plant in Kizad in Abu Dhabi, where we flake them into flakes."

"Once we have the flake, we turn the flake into fiber, and once we have the fiber, we spin it into our greenspun trademark yarn. When we have the yarn, we can make it into all different kinds of products, such as my t-shirt."

Manufacturers say the technology slashes energy use in half and uses 20 percent less water. 

That, in turn, can reduce carbon emissions by 55 percent.

DGrade provides clothing for several types of business and makes uniforms for 200 schools.

"We basically make most of our products bespoke for our customers," Barber added. "But some of our really key fabrics we keep in stock. So, we have things like jersey and quick-dry fabrics in stock in a variety of different colors."

The company produces hundreds of thousands of garments annually and plans to recycle over 1.2 million plastic bottles daily this year.

Related Stories