Everyone is always so concerned about who made your clothes, but have you ever thought about what’s actually in them?
The fashion industry is now one of the biggest contributors to global waste, second only to the oil and mining industries. And do you know why? Two words, “fast fashion”. Globally, we now consume about 80 billion new pieces of clothing every year—400% more than we were consuming just two decades ago.
Fast fashion is commonly produced from cheap, easy to make synthetic fabrics such as polyester. Do you know how polyester is made? Named from the plastic polymers it’s made of, it is basically spun plastic. And these synthetic fabrics can take up to 200 years to begin breaking down in the earths soil. When we buy fast fashion we often are buying items that are “on trend” now, and by the end of the season will end up in the back of our wardrobes only to see the bin in your next spring clean out.
When was the last time you thought about the fabric content of your favourite fashion items?
If you’re picking natural fibres such as cotton or bamboo, you’re definitely doing your part for the environment. In fact, did you know that many natural fibre garments, if they are made without the use of harmful dyes, can actually be added to your homes compost heap? Pretty amazing when we’re all trying to do our part for the environment. Also, the natural performance of these fibres can help keep you cooler in summer, and warmer in winter! (now that’s a way to reduce your energy costs on heating and air conditioning).
Whilst it important that we understand synthetic fabrics do have their place in the fashion world, it’s important that they are used in moderation. So next time you’re out shopping buy garments that will last longer, in terms of wear and trends, and think about what your clothes are made of to minimise our impact on the earth.