In order to make an environmental change through shopping, not only do we need to be mindful about how much we are buying, but we need to be informed about what we are buying.
How things are made matters: the materials, the manufacturers and their commitment to the environment all play a role. In this blog we are going to talk about polyester fabric. When talking about fabric, it isn't always clear cut what is good and what is bad, so you need to read up and use your own judgement.
When I started simply stitchd, our first collection was the OG stitchd tee which is 65% polyester/35% viscose fabric blend and at that time, I wasn’t aware of the effects of polyester on our planet. From my research, here is what I learned about polyester:
- Since it's a cheaper fabric, it encourages overproduction ::ahem:: fast fashion
- It is a synthetic fabric derived from petroleum - basically, it’s plastic
- Very few places are able to recycle polyester
- Each time we wash our polyester clothes, they release plastic microfibers (tiny harmful chemicals) that end up in our sewage system and then our oceans and rivers
- Polyester is not biodegradable (unlike cotton, wool, silk…), it can take 20-200+ years to decompose
- It is a very absorbent fabric and doesn’t shrink
After learning more about polyester, we are committed to not using polyester when making new apparel at simply stitchd. In the meantime, we will continue to sell our current OG stitched line which is a polyester blend, because, well, it would be counterproductive to get rid of the current stock and put it directly into landfills without people wearing and enjoying it.
Now I’m not sharing this with you so you never buy anything that has polyester ever again, but I do think bringing awareness to shoppers is super important. What can we do about it?
Try to look for fabrics like cotton, Tencel or recycled materials, but to be honest, if you try and find something not eco friendly about those fabrics, you probably can. So in my opinion, the best thing to do is:
- buy high quality things that last longer
- buy less
- buy second hand
- wash less and wash better
- and choose brands that you respect!
Peace, love, trees & tees,