The Problem with Plastic in Clothing - And How You Can Help

In this day and age, most people are aware of the gravity of the plastic problem invading our oceans. It is the reason many of us make a conscious effort to boycott plastic straws, shop with reusable bags, and avoid the everyday use of plastic as much as possible.  

While these are commendable efforts, there remains a lesser-known way we may be blindly contributing to plastic pollution: washing our clothing.  

The grim statistic is that 60% of the materials that make up our clothing - such as polyester, nylon, acrylic, spandex and other synthetic fibers - are forms of plastic. When washed, these fibers seep into the environment, contributing to microplastic pollution in our oceans.  

The resulting damage is anything but inconsequential. Estimates suggest that a single load of laundry could be releasing hundreds of thousands of plastic fibers into our water supply. With no filters fine enough to catch them, these tiny fibers pass through sewage and eventually reach our oceans. Here, they soak up toxins in the water and infiltrate their way into the food chain of both marine wildlife and us.  

Consider how many people wash their clothing on a daily basis. Take into account the generous number of clothing most people possess, and bear in mind that plastic takes hundreds of years - if not more - to degrade. The effect of plastic on our planet is indeed pervasive and significant.   

While there’s no denying that clothing is a significant part of the problem, we as consumers can choose to be part of the solution. How, you ask? We can practice conscious shopping. We can be more mindful of where our clothing is made, who made it, and what it is made of.  

Unfortunately, synthetic plastic fibers are a popular choice for many clothing manufacturers because of their low-cost and versatility. At Poème, however, we pride ourselves on recognizing the negative impact fast fashion and toxic fibers have on our planet and society. That’s why we’re committed to reducing our environmental burden by promoting ethically-made goods that focus on sustainability instead. 

We encourage you to shop with intention, choose quality over quantity, and support small artisans and locally owned boutiques over big chains. While it may be tempting to purchase synthetic clothing because of its affordability, we urge you to consider the harmful strains they inflict upon the environment before making a purchase.  

At Poème, you can rest assured that the fabrics we use such as linen, rayon, and organically cultivated cotton, are not only better for your body, but also friendlier for our earth.  

 References: 

https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2018/9/19/17800654/clothes-plastic-pollution-polyester-washing-machine