Fabric Sustainability in Designing Eco-Friendly Plush

Green text that says "Fabric Sustainability in Designing Eco-Friendly Plush"

A quest that started in 2018, took more then two years of research and development, has led us to #PlushforthePlanet.

Plush for the Planet is our Sustainable Collection of plush animals made from 100% recycled fabrics. While holding true to our quality standards, we are proud to offer the world’s first sustainable build your own plush line.

In this guide we will walk you through the sustainability aspect of using recycled fabrics and the effects it has on the environment. We will also dive into the different materials used to create our recycled plush line as well as our bio-degradable packaging.

purple text that says "rPET Explained" and grey text that says "why recycled & what it means"

Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate (rPET) is the process by which previously recycled packaging materials are collected, sorted, cleaned and transformed into a usable material. This new material can be used for packaging, apparel, and in our case, plush fabrics. This recycled product is usually made from #1 and #2 plastics which can include water bottles, textile waste, and even old fishing nets.

Taking plastics that have an ability to be recycled, supports a Circular Economy model of reusing items opposed to the use of virgin materials. The main downside of rPET are the added costs that can be attributed to the processing of these materials into a usable medium.

Impact of rPET used in plush collage to highlight fabric sustainability
50% lower carbon footprint than organic cotton and 70% less energy used than virgin fiber production
rPET pellets ready for processing
Melted down pellets being spun into fabrics
Plush for the Planet fabrics made of 100% rPET


biodegradable plastic bag #plushfortheplanet Earth friendly, biodegradable, reduce waste, designed and distributed by The Bear Factory in Michigan
Compostable and sustainable The Bear Factory packaging

Boxing Reuse and Recycle 

The Bear Factory packaging box


In 2021 we launched our Project 20 mission of reducing our traditional packaging to less then 20%. Since that time we have transitioned over 90% of our plastic packaging to certified compostable materials. These materials include our plush bag liners as well as our protective toy
clothing packaging.

In summary, be sure to check items you use to package goods in your business are certified compostable bioplastics. With that being said, in a perfect world we would remove the complete use of plastics but let’s take small steps by making sure we do use, has a reduced footprint.


Bioplastics is a type of plastic that is made from natural resources such as vegetable oils and starches. It is estimated that these products have a compost time of three to six months. According to European Bioplastics, this time can be reduced to six to twelve weeks within a commercial composting facility.

blue text saying "our packaging certification"
Industrial Compostable certification


What makes this plush different? This plush is made of 9.5 plastic bottles.


a buttery soft fabric made into our Plush line. Polyester is a synthetic fabric generally derived from petroleum. It’s common for polyester to be blended with cotton or another natural fiber to reduce costs, shrinkage, improve durability, and minimize wrinkling.

Polyester comprised 52% of global fiber production in 2018, with 55 million metric tons produced annually.

Recycled Polyester

100% recycled (rPET), Plush for the Planet items are made of 100% recycled fabrics that is of even higher quality then that of our signature collection made of virgin polyester.


Standard Polyester: Carbon Emissions: 4.4 kg CO2 eq. / 1000 grams | Freshwater consumption: 26.45 kg / 1000 grams | Energy Consumption: 97.09 MJ / 1000 grams

rPET: Carbon Emissions: 1.2 kg CO2 eq. / 1000 grams | Freshwater consumption: 5.08 kg / 1000 grams | Energy Consumption: 13.63 MJ / 1000 grams


Cleaning, Repair, and Reuse

Hippo plush with The Bear Factory logo and text that says "less is more"

Less Is More 

aims to educate our customers on the toxins in everyday soaps. That is why we have created our Bears and Buddies eco soap made with clean, simple ingredients that are safe to use on the skin and for your plushies. We created our care line to help keep our plushies clean and safe for young ones while also challenging you to Demand More while Consuming Less.

Making the Conscious Decision 

to take care of your quality plushies so they last for years, instead of discarding them after they have a spill, get dropped in the mud, or start to look worn from all the daily adventure. Join us in our mission of supporting our planet by taking care or your bears and buddies.