As it’s Fashion Revolution Week, I wanted to draw your attention to something that’s not as frequently talked about when it comes to fashion – its effects on the environment.
Over recent months, we’ve all been made more aware of how much plastic is littering our environment and clogging up the oceans. But how many of us know that approximately 60% of all fabric in the world is made from plastic?
Fibres like nylon, polyester, acrylic and polyamide and all made from plastic fibres. Tiny fibres which shed into our environment when we wear and wash them. We could well be ingesting our clothes, and they are certainly passing into the oceans every time we run a load of washing.
One of the recent trends for recycling plastic bottles into clothing could be adding to this problem – as essentially a water bottle is being turned into millions of these microfibres, which pollute the environment and are eaten by marine life.
There’s a huge amount of information on the dangers of micro-plastics. However, I’d like to briefly explore some alternatives to plastic fabrics, and ways you can help reduce your impact from clothes you might already own, or second-hand clothes you may buy in the future.
The first thing we can do is to buy more natural fabrics, like organic cotton, hemp or bamboo. These don’t contain micro-plastics and are an easy win. Plus, their production is much better for the environment.
For existing clothing and items that are pre-loved purchases, you can help reduce the amount of these fibres that get into the environment by using a filter bag for your machine (like a Guppy Bag) and wash the clothes less – you don’t always need to wash after every wear.
You can reduce the temperature you wash your clothes at, make sure your machine is full when you run it, and air dry instead of using a tumble dryer.
Ultimately we need to reduce the amount of plastic clothing that’s being made. So buy those natural fabrics, and perhaps give the clothing made from recycled plastic a miss. It can be hard to know what the right thing to do is, but anything you do is a step forwards on the path to a fashion revolution.
Why don’t you contact your favourite fashion brand and ask them what they are doing to reduce the plastic in their clothes? You can do this via email, or social media. It’s a small step, but each of us has a voice.
Thanks for reading I hope you have a wonderful weekend – remember to stay safe and stay at home!