Plastic & plastic-based materials like Polyester, Nylon, Acrylic, & Spandex are synthetic materials made from OIL. When you shop these goods, you are ultimately supporting the OIL & GAS INDUSTRY (no one wants to do that, right?) 🤮 Fossil Fuel Fashion definitely should not be a thing.
We try to opt for natural materials over virgin (new) synthetics — plastic can stay on our planet for hundreds of years, but natural fabrics like Organic Cotton (cotton on its own is environmentally damaging but organic and recycled are much better – we'll dig into that issue another time), Hemp, Linen, & Tencel Lyocell are more biodegradable & sustainably made than petrochemical textiles.
Did you know that plastics can take 10 to 1000 years to decompose? Plastic bags (like those from a grocery store) take 10-20 years, while a plastic water bottle takes 450 years!! Polyester, the most common made-from-plastic and micro-plastic-shedding fabric, takes 100+ years to decompose. For comparison, Cotton can biodegrade in 5 months when composted.
Although the most eco friendly option is not buying anything at all, if you are in the market for new clothes or are about to make a purchase, we have some alternatives and quick tips to remember to help you shop a little more responsibly.
In addition to buying 2nd hand / thrifted / vintage and natural materials, recycled is a great option. Recycled cotton and recycled synthetics create fabrics from existing cotton and polluting plastics to help reduce waste. Recycled synthetics aren't totally "eco-friendly" though, they still shed plastic fibers in the washing machine which then cause harm to marine life (another future issue to dig into). However, there are solutions for this problem, which makes them a good alternative to virgin synthetics since purchasing them doesn't support the fossil fuel industry.
It feels great to make personal decisions that align with our values but remember, ethical and environmental change comes from systemic change – so let's keep our activism hats on and let's keep fighting for a better tomorrow.
thx for reading // 💗 you
p.s. I haven't linked any sources here, but will try to update this with a list of articles for further reading so that you can learn more!