What are the limitations of recycled cotton?
Recycled cotton is a sustainable alternative to cotton pre-consumer and post-consumer waste is still produced limited. As though, the use of insecticide and pesticide would be less and CO2, water and fossil fuel would be saved by using the existing cotton products. But, the carbon footprint generated and fossil fuel used for collecting, processing and shipping of cotton scraps or clothing would eventually reduce or neutralize some of these savings.
Also, the quality of recycled cotton is less than of new cotton.
Thus, the recycled cotton must be blended with virgin cotton or other fibers for better strength and durability and if it is blended with fibers other than cotton it cannot be further recycled. The content of recycled cotton will depend on the end-use application.
The recycled cotton yarn has poor quality than virgin cotton yarn. Yet, it is more expensive than virgin cotton.
Testing instruments are constructed as per virgin cotton. Due to the difference in fiber packing and orientation sometimes, testing results could be skewed.
Recycled cotton has a higher risk of contamination in comparison to other fibers. Thus, proper stitching machines and equipment with sewing thread should all be taken into consideration before establishing the recycled cotton supply chain.