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Textures of Sustainability: What Is Recycled Canvas?

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Mankind has developed a rather ambivalent relationship with nature. Although some of our actions systematically destroy nature, a series of other actions protect and preserve it. The fashion industry continues to have a significant impact on the environment. While fast fashion does take a toll on nature, an eco-friendly mindset seems to slowly rise above this as it gains an increasing number of followers.

Recycled canvas offers a new life for pieces of fabric that were disregarded and heading for the landfill. These are deconstructed only to be reconstructed as a brand new material where all the misfits unite in perfect harmony. The possibilities that recycled canvas provides are truly vast. Designers can use it to materialize their vision of trendy outfits, but also accessories like tote bags.

What Is Recycled Canvas?



There are several ways to obtain recycled materials, such as canvas. The standard path is to process a selection of materials that were left from the production process. These scraps have not been invested with a purpose and would be heading to the landfill. Leftover materials are collected, deconstructed, and threads are woven into a new fabric.

An added benefit of the recycled canvas (besides the positive impact on the environment) is its luxurious feel. The emblematic weathered look and softness associated with the fabric are due to the manufacturing process. It is quite fascinating to think about how pieces of fabric that were on their way to the landfill can create such a wide range of luxury products (including tote bags).

The New Turn: Upcycled Plastic - Recycled Canvas



A new fabric can be created out of plastic bottles. This canvas can be used for a variety of products, including clothing, curtains, pillow covers, purses, shower bags, banners, and of course, tote bags.

More and more companies are beginning to use this product as our world continues to transform into a more sustainable one. Plastic waste is abundant, and keeping those old plastic bottles out of landfills and waterways is essential to making our world a better place in which to live.

The textile industry has seen several sustainable materials hit the market over the years with mixed results. Recycled canvas from plastic is quickly proving itself to be the new gold standard. This synthetic material contains all the good of previous eco-friendly fibers while cutting out the bad qualities.

Recycled canvas from plastic is still relatively new at this point. However, within another decade or two, it will likely be one of the leaders not only among synthetic materials but all textile products. In fifty years, it could very well be the number one material used for tote bags. In fact, at that point, it will likely be very difficult to find new products that are created without sustainability in mind.

How Is Recycled Canvas Made From Plastic?

As mentioned, the fabric is created using recycled plastic bottles. Each year Americans consume tens of billions of plastic bottles. The majority of these bottles are not recycled and end up in landfills and the ocean. Recycled canvas takes this waste and turns it into something useful, beautiful, and sustainable.

To make recycled canvas, plastic bottles are collected, washed, and chopped into small flakes, which get melted down. Then using performance technologies, they get transformed into fibers. Those fibers are taken and made into sustainable recycled canvas fabric. From that material comes all manner of wonderful creations (including tote bags).

Ten water bottles can make a yard of recycled canvas fabric.

REPREVE: The Top Name in Recycled Fiber

The world's top recycled canvas fiber is REPREVE. To date, they have turned over 26 billion recycled plastic bottles into synthetic fibers used by many of the world's leading brands. REPREVE is setting the standard for sustainability in the textile industry, and other brands are hurrying to catch up.

A Great Indoor/Outdoor Fabric

The synthetic fibers of recycled canvas make it a great option for both indoor and outdoor use. The canvas is highly durable and can be used for outdoor pillows and cushions on a patio set. Recycled canvas is also great for a shower bag as it is not harmed by getting wet.

The Fabric Is Both Strong and Soft

Often when it comes to fabric, strong and soft do not mix. However, with recycled canvas, you get the best of both worlds. The material is strong enough to be made into recycled canvas tote bags that will last you years. It is also soft enough to be used in creating comfortable pillow coverings that are not rough to the touch.

The vibrancy in items made with recycled canvas fibers is top of the line. If you are looking for fabric that really pops, you will not be disappointed. 

How Recycled Canvas Can Help in the War Against Climate Change



We are living during a critical period for our planet and our species. The global climate crisis looms large and threatens to completely change our way of life unless we can come together and find solutions before it is too late. 

It can be easy to feel overwhelmed in the face of this seemingly insurmountable problem. Fortunately, you are not alone. Beating climate change is not the responsibility of any one person. Instead, it is a shared responsibility by us all. We all need to do our part if we want to avert disaster.

This shared burden means that as long as we all take steps towards living a more sustainable life, we have a chance of success. We don't all have to be vegans who grow our own food, never fly, get our electricity from solar panels on our home and wind generators in our yards, live in the dark, and not have kids. However, if we all adopt some sustainable practices, like using recycled canvas fabric, we can make a difference.

Perfect for Anyone Looking to Reduce Their Carbon Footprint

Choosing recycled canvas is a great option for anyone trying to reduce their impact on the environment. Buying new things can come with a layer of guilt because of the cycle of disposal that exists in the world. There are so many items that are created for quick consumption. 

The electronics industry is a big culprit in creating products with planned obsolescence. The fashion industry is another notorious perpetrator. What is "in" is constantly shifting, and there is a constant pressure to continually have new, fresh looks. These industries both thrive on this business model because it means that consumers will be back for more shortly.

Fortunately, a shift is beginning to occur here as the pressure to live a more sustainable life continues to rise. The fashion industry is creating far more sustainable products than it did a decade ago to keep up with demand. While there is still the desire to stay fresh, fashion accessories are being repurposed rather than just being thrown out, and many new items are being created out of reused materials.

Good for Business

With the mounting demand for eco-friendly items, businesses looking to stay ahead of the curve have shifted their operations in recent years. Creating products with recycled canvas and other environmentally-minded materials is helping many companies to appeal to a growing client base. 

Several years ago, products made with recycled materials were only marked as such with a small sticker or separate tag. Now businesses have large displays highlighting these items. Advertisements for earth-friendly products abound. They are no longer viewed as a nice thing to have for customers looking to do their part. Instead, they are seen as a driving force to get customers to shop with you in the first place.

Recycled Canvas Is Easy to Clean



Another great thing about recycled canvas is that it is easy to clean. This is ideal for a tote bag, which suffers from plenty of spills. Keeping your bag looking clean can help keep you fashionable when out running errands. 

Spot Clean

If there is nothing but a stain covering the bag material, try spot cleaning it. Dampen the area and use a soft wet washcloth and gentle detergent on the area. Stay away from hot water. Try to use cold or lukewarm water to prevent any damage to the fabric.


Some recommend postponing washing as long as possible to not damage the fabric in the process. If you have several recycled canvas tote bags, consider wearing them alternatively. Nevertheless, when the time comes to wash the bags, do so carefully. While you can wash recycled canvas both in the machine and by hand, it is essential to take a few precautionary measures. The most important aspects to consider are to use cold water, a gentle detergent, and turn the bag inside out.


The ideal way to dry a recycled canvas tote bag is to leave it to air-dry. This is a great strategy, especially during summer. You only need to be careful about the sun not to drain out the color. Turning the fabric inside out will help. Also, you could move the wet clothes and bags to a shadier spot away from direct sunlight during noon. 


There is no real need to iron a recycled canvas tote. However, it comes down to personal preference. If you decide to use the iron, make sure to have the bag turned inside out and to use low to medium heat to prevent exposing the fabric to high temperatures.

The Tote Bags of the Future

Recycled canvas tote bags are rapidly growing in popularity and will only continue to do so with time. Many of the textiles currently on the market are likely to fall out of favor in the coming years as there seems to be no end in sight for the climate battle. Sustainability is quickly becoming a cornerstone of all types of manufacturing.