Did you know that between half a million and a million tons of plastic microfibres are discharged into waste water each year from the washing of synthetic clothes?
The fashion industry is a catastrophic contribution to the pollution of our oceans and as consumers we can put a stop to it. Take Primark as a prime example of an unsustainable fast fashion brand, with over 350 stores in 12 countries across the world, the popular clothing store sells cheap clothing. Don’t be fooled by the price tag.
In June 2014, labels stitched with SOS messages were found in items bought from a store in Swansea and again from Ireland where a note from a Chinese prison stated inmates worked for 15 hours a day in poor conditions.
This is one of many examples and others include, Urban Outfitters, Topshop, PLT and Missguided. The price tag may be inviting, but i urge you to do your research and you will be instantly put off. Here's how we can say No to synthetic clothing…
Affordability and sustainability
Ditch the fast fashion and opt into more sustainable and ethically produced clothing. Natural fibres include cotton and linen, both of which are renewable, biodegradable and carbon neutral. This helps to reduce the pollution on the worlds oceans.
It is possible to shop sustainability on the high street, but first you must educate yourself on what to look for. Check labels to see what your clothes are made of and avoid materials like Nylon and Polyester – you might be surprised how often these names appear.
H&M have claimed the top spot with an estimated 73% of their clothing being sustainable, adidas and Reebok followed close behind with 63%. These examples show it is possible to shop sustainably on a budget and do your bit for the environment.
Why we should all make the switch to natural fibre clothing
Whilst Fashion is largely a positive celebration of individuality and style, their is a dark side to the industry that is often overlooked. When we wash synthetic fibre clothing, tiny plastic microfibres too small to be trapped in the filters enter not only the water system but also the food chain.
The use of toxic chemicals in manufacturing methods is dangerous. Take mercury for example. It can be absorbed through the lungs, skin and stomach and it an also affect the neuro-motor system, causing long term anxiety as just one example.
If this isn’t enough for you to make the switch, lets take a look at some fashion icons who promote sustainable clothing…
Sustainable fashion icons
Stella McCartney, a fashion industry icon promotes sustainable clothing in her collections and she states that she wont use real leather in any of her designs. In her Autumn/Winter 2020 fashion show, her models walked the cawalk dressed as animals. Now that's making a statement.
This lighthearted gesture raised awareness that animals continue to be abused and killed for fashion despite so many sustainable alternatives. Stella McCartney is not alone,. She is joined by Emma Watson, Jessica Alba and Gwyneth Paltrow to name but a few household names that say no to synthetic fibres.
A name we all know and love- Vivienne Westwood is also a sustainable fashion designer. in 2011 she paired up with Free People and launched a 100% organic collection with the aim to raise awareness of the growing rainforest problems around the world. It's time that everybody joined the sustainable fashion world to make a greater change and impact.
How you can help…
Do your research! Fashion for Good is an incredible place to start-
We believe that good fashion is not only possible- it is within reach. What the industry lacks are the resources, tools and incentives to put it into relentless practice. Our mission at Fashion for Good is to bring together the entire fashion ecosystem through our Innovation Platform and as a convenor for change. https://fashionforgood.com/about-us/
Fashion is stuck in a pattern of ‘take-make-waste’, and if each individual reading this opted for change, we would make a small change that would have a huge impact on preserving and protecting our natural world.
Don’t wait- start your sustainable fashion switch today.