Pros and Cons of Polyester Use for Clothing


Polyester is one of the most extensively used textiles by apparel producers across the globe. Polyester fabric is used in clothing production because it is affordable, durable, and versatile. Due to its fabric’s adaptability for athletic clothing, sportswear brands have a soft spot for it. Most polyester textiles may be washed in a machine and don’t need to be ironed, making them simple to maintain in today’s hectic society. Fabrics made of polyester maintain their shape and do not shrink. Therefore, they are durable. Polyester has various benefits and drawbacks, which is why many fashion designers and manufacturers like it. 

Most fabrics used to create clothing, footwear, and accessories in the textile and garment business are polyester. More than half of the world’s fiber is produced there. Polyester clothing is widely available because it is affordable, lightweight, and strong. They have a lot to offer the world of fashion and your wardrobe. Additionally, a lot of individuals dress in polyester all year long. But, like all other textile materials, polyester has both positive and negative aspects. Unfortunately, polyester is an oil-based synthetic material with terrible environmental effects. It aids in degrading ecosystems, waste, greenhouse gas emissions, and plastic pollution. When purchasing a garment made of this fabric, it helps to be aware of its advantages and disadvantages so you can determine whether it is worthwhile to purchase or not.

The Pros of Polyester Clothing

Compared to other forms of fashion-related materials, polyester apparel has various benefits. It is lightweight, strong, versatile, and reasonably priced. Polyester has a low stretch factor, good rip and abrasion resistance, a long working life, good UV and bias stability, and good durability. Polyester clothing is durable, hard-wearing, and simple to maintain. Additionally, they are lightweight, stiff, quick-drying, moisture-wicking, durable, and tenacious. Since polyester is entirely synthetic, it is immune to attacks from insects, moths, molds, fungi, and many common household chemicals. In contrast to natural fibers like cotton, polyester is waterproof and quick drying, making it a popular material for activewear and swimwear.

1. Polyester is affordable compared to natural fabric

Polyester is less expensive than natural materials like cotton or wool. The price difference is evident when comparing a wholesale polyester shirt with an equivalent wholesale shirt made of linen or cotton. Polyester pricing is possible since cotton and polyester are priced similarly. In addition, unlike natural fibers like cotton, this synthetic/artificial fiber is less susceptible to market swings. Costs become more stable as a result.

2. Polyester is a durable material for clothing

One of the most significant advantages of polyester fabric is its strong strength, which translates to the highest level of durability. The fabric’s polymers provide a robust and long-lasting weave that maintains its shape and doesn’t need any upkeep. It has excellent wear and abrasion resistance and can tolerate repeated use and washings. This is one of the reasons polyesters are used to make sportswear because it can tolerate frequent, vigorous everyday motion. Polyester fabrics won’t shrink or stretch when they are washed and dried.

3. Polyester fabric has UV rays resistant material

Natural materials might fade in the sun, but polyester resists UV rays, so the colors stay vibrant. Many designers opt for polyester textiles for their outdoor summer collections since they are simple to print with vibrant colors. Even swimwear and beach coverups made of polyester are common. Sunscreen should always be used because UV rays can penetrate clothing.

4. Polyester has elasticity quality

Polyester can be used with other synthetic fibers because it is a manufactured fabric. Polyester keeps its shape so well because it has some flexibility. Fashion makers frequently add spandex or elastane to create stretchy garments such as fitting athletic wear and swimwear.

5. Polyester is easy to maintain

Polyester is an excellent fabric for busy individuals because it can be machine-washed and requires no ironing. Due to its ease of care, it’s a fantastic option for children’s clothing. This fabric’s lower absorption capacity also means that, in contrast to other fabrics, it resists stains better. Polyester has a reasonably low threshold for shrinkage. It will not wrinkle or lose shape no matter how often it is washed. In addition, it doesn’t fade or wrinkle, no matter how often you wash it.

6. Polyester has a quick drying property

The fabric also has minimal moisture regain (MR) qualities, which means that although it absorbs moisture well, it swiftly evaporates, keeping your garment dry. Another justification for why sportswear makers favor polyester is this. Furthermore, the cloth dries quicker than other standard fabrics like cotton due to its lesser absorbency qualities. Therefore, it will use your dryer for a shorter period than other materials, saving you money on energy costs.

7. Polyester is versatile

To combine polyester’s advantages with those of other fibers and produce even better final goods, manufacturers can readily blend polyester with other fibers. Cotton-polyester mixes, polyester-cotton-rayon blends, and polyester-spandex blends are a few of the most often used polyester blends.

8. Polyester is recyclable

At the end of its useful life, polyester is entirely recyclable. Since this substance won’t break down when you toss it away and will instead end up in a landfill, doing so protects the environment. However, remember that it deteriorates every time this synthetic fiber is regenerated.

The Cons of Polyester Clothing

Like any other artificial material, polyester also has several disadvantages. For instance, polyester is not exceptionally breathable, unlike many other synthetic materials. It repels water and absorbs heat. It wicks away moisture, has a low absorption rate, and dries quickly. Moreover, polyester is highly combustible. When grilling, welding, or using fireworks, avoid wearing polyester. Furthermore, polyester clothing has a terrible effect on the environment. Polyester cannot be composted, biodegraded, or regenerated.

1. Polyester is not breathable

Polyester users notice that the material isn’t breathable. While this may be advantageous when it gets colder, it may be uncomfortable when it gets hot.

2. Polyester is flammable

Polyester is more flammable and can quickly catch fire than other natural fibers since it contains petroleum-based polymers. The fabric can melt and fuse with human skin, necessitating medical treatment. Polyester clothing frequently melts when ironed or dried at an excessively high temperature.

3. Polyester is not sustainable and environmentally friendly

Polyester is not a sustainable material, unlike textiles made from plants. Petroleum is the source of the polymers, and the fashion business uses billions of barrels of oil each year. Since polyester cannot decompose, many fast-fashion polyester clothing is found in landfills. Reusing polyester garments might lessen its harmful effects on the environment.

4. Polyester retains scents and body odor

Because polyester does not breathe, it absorbs scents and aromas. If you spritz cologne or perfume on it, removing it will be challenging. Apply deodorant and pray you don’t sweat because body scents linger. When wearing polyester, people frequently struggle to remove stains, especially grease and oil stains.

5. Polyester is temperature-sensitive and lacks a soft texture

Clothing composed of polyester is temperature-sensitive. Therefore, particular caution should be taken when printing t-shirts and other items made of this material to avoid melting and scorching. Polyester has a little scratchy texture and might not feel comfortable against your skin, in contrast to cotton, which feels smooth against your skin. Those with sensitive skin will find this to be especially true.

Polyester’s Impact on the Environment

Polyester is not environmentally friendly because it is made from petroleum, so it is not sustainable and takes a very long time to decompose. Additionally, polyester clothing frequently leaks microfibers into our rivers, where fish, other marine life, and people consume them. Consequently, the most extensively used fabric could be more eco-friendly. Polyester’s true environmental impact must be considered from all perspectives, from the start of the procedure to its conclusion. Because polyester is detrimental at every stage of the apparel supply chain, including sourcing, manufacture, disposal, and trash, tragically, damage to the earth occurs at each stop along the journey.

1. Petroleum Issue

The fact that polyester is composed of petroleum and fossil fuels is the first problem it cannot solve. The need for polyester facilitates the extraction and refinement of hundreds of millions of barrels of crude oil from the earth. The procedures or areas where the oil came from are difficult to know or disclose to the consumer, which makes it challenging for clothing businesses to be upfront about the source of their polyester.

2. Production pollution

The method used to make polyester has its own set of issues. Despite being a relatively inexpensive material, polyester uses a lot of energy during production. Additionally, harmful substances and heavy metals employed in production could end up in wastewater and, eventually, the environment.

3. Microplastic Shedding and Landfill fodder

First, as polyester clothing is worn or laundered, microplastic is shed from it. Ultimately, these microplastics find their way into our land, water, and even our bodies. The extent to which microplastics can harm the environment and our bodies is still unknown to science. Second, polyester clothing is difficult to recycle and frequently winds up in landfills where it will languish for centuries. Polyester will not decompose and is not a sustainable resource because it is artificial plastic. 

4. Fracking causes severe problems to the environment

Because of the high consumer demand, the unsustainable production method, and the use of this fiber after the consumer throws it away, the mass production of polyester significantly negatively influences the environment. One of the numerous ways fashion and politics intersect is when polyester is made from oil, oil is made from fracking, and fracking seriously harms groundwater and the environment. Fracking is a temporary fix for the central issue of oil scarcity. Plastic is being used to wrap everything imaginable and is being used to the point where it will soon run out; thus, it is not a good idea to continue eating it.

5. Manufacturing Polyester emits toxic chemicals to the atmosphere and the body of water 

High temperatures are required to melt the chemicals used in the production of polyester, which uses up a lot of energy in the factories and releases hazardous pollutants into the atmosphere. Disperse dye is another name for the dye used to color polyester. It is a highly effective yet dangerous stain-resistant dye. For a synthetic material, it is a synthetic dye. Because the dispersed dye is a mixture of non-decomposing chemical elements, it is not soluble in water. Consider the pair of jeans or leggings you’ve worn for a while and are still the same color. That is the dispersed dye’s synthetic and destructive power. When the companies are finished dying the clothes, the wastewater is challenging to treat or reuse since it is full of dangerous chemicals. As a result, the factory workers dump the waste into the ocean, harming marine life and contaminating bodies of water that serve as the water supply for low-income towns.


As you can see, the most valuable qualities of polyester cloth are its affordability and adaptability. Polyester fabric’s most significant drawbacks are that it doesn’t breathe well and can harm the environment. Keep in mind that polyester is a material made entirely of manufactured plastic. It offers unrivaled durability, the capacity to withstand repeated washings and wearing, and resistance to wrinkling and shrinking. Additionally, it dries relatively quickly and is simple to maintain. It is among the least expensive textile fibers currently accessible in terms of price. The drawbacks include reduced breathability, sensitivity to warmth, and a slightly abrasive texture that may irritate those with sensitive skin.