IS OUR LOVE OF FAST FASHION KILLING US?
Every time we wash synthetic clothing we release more than 700,000 tiny plastic fibres into the environment. Plymouth University spent 12 months analysing various fabrics and their reactions to a washing cycle. Professor of Marine Biology, Richard Thompson, explained “Different fibres have very different emissions; we need to understand why some types of fabric release substantially more than others”. Acrylic came out the worst, releasing five times more than a polyester-cotton blend.
Our washing machines are unable to filter these tiny plastic fibres. They are washed out into our water system where they degrade into even smaller pieces, they then concentrate bacteria and pollutants.
These toxic particles are then ingested by our marine organisms and work their way up the food chain. Microplastic is now found in over 1200 species, and counting, including plankton, a crucial source of food for fish.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE FUTURE OF FABRIC AND TEXTILES?
There are some innovative companies that are recycling polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, into yarn. PET is widely used in water bottles; these are fished from the seas and oceans which in itself is a great idea, but turning them into something useful, even better. Will there come a time when polyester garments are banned; will we see a surge in recycled polyester potentially turning our rivers and seas into modern day goldmines?
Who knows; but technology is moving faster than ever to keep up with demand for sustainable and environmentally friendly fabrics. With the world waking up to the damage we’re doing to the planet and social media influencers creating a new trend of buying green and only buying clothes once a quarter, it looks like we are on the way to killing fast fashion before it kills us.
We are always researching companies that can offer our clients a more sustainable clothing option and we actively encourage our suppliers to go further with the ranges they offer. In the meantime, there are amazing ‘fibre catching’ bags you can pop in your washing machines that do a fantastic job.
If you would like to discuss your uniform and how you can be more environmentally friendly, get in touch with us today!