Did you know that 60% of the clothes worn worldwide are made with some form of plastic? Man-made fibres such as polyester, nylon and acrylic are a product of crude oil. Clothes made from them will often end up in landfill where, because the materials are synthetic and cannot degrade through natural processes such as rotting, the clothing will sit for 1000s of years: a pollution problem we are only just beginning to understand the scale of.
And, even before they are thrown away, these synthetic clothes cause damage to the environment. Every time they are washed, thousands of plastic micro-fibres are rubbed off and released into the rinse water. Up to 40% of these eventually make their way into rivers, lakes and the ocean where they can be ingested by animals. This is a problem for the ecology of marine life as well as our food chain.
These issues are real and growing, but the good news is you can make some positive choices today to help. Here are a few of our favourites:
- Buy fewer and better-quality pieces of clothing which will last longer until they need replacing.
- Hang on for dear life! Make your clothes go further by mending them when damaged or recycling them into something else (the reason we launched ForeverTallis).
- If your knitwear has bobbles on it, tidy it up with a Sweaterstone and make it like new.
- Check the label and focus on natural fibres that will biodegrade after the garment is disposed of.
- Save water and energy by washing your clothes less often. You will find that sometimes they just need to be aerated (ok, not after a big party!). Hang them by a window or out in the garden.
- Stop those plastic fibres getting into the ocean by investing in a Guppyfriend in which you can wash your synthetic clothes.
- Choose an environmentally friendly laundry powder or make your own!