t this point on your sustainability journey I am sure youve heard whispers about polyester. You may have read articles titled ‘Eco Alternatives to Polyester” or similar and read through but end up still being confused as to why so many sustainability activists are against Polyester
Polyester is essentially a synthetic fibre that is created from petroleum. Depending on its use it is manufactured and processed in different ways but today we’re going to talk mostly about polyester in clothing. Petroleum is as you know derived from oil. It is processed and turned into plastic beads then they are melted and pushed through an extruder and thin fibres are created that can be woven into fabric.
Now just by reading this process we’re sure you can point out several issues that might concern environmentalists!
- Oil is incredibly harmful to the environment to process and refine
- The small plastic beads that are created are shipped all over the world and there are many instances of shipping containers falling off ships and the plastic beads releasing into the ocean and beaches. These are so small that they are easily ingested by wildlife and are incredibly harmful to them
- Once the fabric is created its not the end of the issues! Each time polyester is washed it releases micro plastics into the water supply.
- Polyester also does not decompose or biodegrade as it is synthetic. So once a garment is discarded it will just break down into smaller bits of plastic.
Polyester was initially invented in the mid 20th century and was revolutionary at the time. It was incredibly cheap to produce and during the post war period was when people were starting to purchase clothing off the rack and turning away from custom made pieces which was the norm up until then. This was also the beginning of fast fashion and polyester fit into this new model of consumption very easily.
As with so many plastic products invented during that time it is something we all should be more aware of and start to phase out. Replacing polyester fabric with natural fibres like cotton, linen and bamboo will have a much better impact on the environment and on our skin!
So this is why you won't see much polyester here on SAM & LANCE! The only time we allow it is if it has been recycled or repurposed saving resources from going to landfills. We want to help you make more ethical choices and by eliminating the option of polyester you can be sure that each piece you choose is going to benefit you and the environment!