Most of us know we need to use less plastic, but you might not know that 72% of our clothing now includes it. Whether it’s the synthetic rubber soles, EVA foam and nylon mesh upper in your trainers; the Elastane or Lycra adding stretch to a pair of joggers or jeans, the polyester in a ‘cotton blend’ top, the acrylic in a vegan jumper, the PU in vegan leather or the nylon and polyester used to make an insulated coat, fashion is full of the stuff and it’s often hidden away, confusingly renamed or even completely undisclosed.
All of that plastic causes problems when it’s made; when it’s worn & washed; and when it’s disposed of.
Plastics come from crude oil and fashion uses 330 million barrels of the stuff every year. Switching to recycled plastics reduces this but does nothing to help with the other problems plastics cause.
Simply wearing and washing clothes and shoes with plastics in them releases microplastics - tiny threads up to 5mm long. They’re individually minuscule but a single wash can release 17 million into the oceans which globally makes clothing the largest source of primary microplastic pollution - dumping the equivalent of 50 billion plastic bottles into the water every year. These end up in our drinking water, food and even in airborne dust meaning we’re now each ingesting 50,000 of these particles a year.
And because the materials are cheap and often blended it is uneconomical to recycle them - meaning they’re either burned which releases noxious chemicals into the air or dumped in landfill for hundreds of years.
So, while fabrics from animals are terrible for the environment, plastics aren’t much better which is why we promise to be both animal and plastic free.