Organic cotton fashion @grammarnyc
Natural fibres are those made from plant and animal sources.
Eco intimates by @indigoluna.store worn by @mroussety
Plastic Free Fashion: 5 Sustainable Clothing Swaps
Whilst recently chatting with a few of my friends, it became apparent to me that most of them were not aware of the amount of plastic contained in their wardrobes and the implications of this. With materials named ‘polyester, nylon, and elastane’, I think it is easy to overlook that these fabrics are made from synthetic fibres – and are essentially plastic. When clothing made from these fabrics is discarded, just like other forms of plastic, it will pollute landfills and oceans for tens of thousands of years. In this editorial I share our team’s top 5 swaps to move towards a plastic-free wardrobe. We hope you find them helpful!
Grace, Creative Editor
1. Choose Natural & Organic Alternatives
A lot of seemingly cotton clothing is blended with synthetic fibres such as polyester. These fibres are added to clothing items such as shirts and blouses to help achieve a ‘no-iron’ effect, as well as reducing the cost of the item – synthetic fibres are typically cheaper than natural ones. Whilst this may be easier on your time and pocket, it is not easier on the planet.
The problem with synthetic fashion and textiles is that they are essentially made from plastic. When clothing made from these fabrics is discarded, just like other forms of plastic, it will pollute landfills and oceans for tens of thousands of years. Natural fabrics will biodegrade much more quickly.
If you are buying cotton, we always recommending choosing organic cotton wherever possible. Along with many other benefits, organic cotton is grown without pesticides which helps to protect the health of people working with the cotton and the health of the planet. Learn more about organic cotton from the Soil Association. Look out for the GOTS certification.
2. Workout Without Plastic
Conventional activewear is typically made from synthetic fibres including elastane, nylon and polyester and so opting for natural activewear alternatives is an amazing way to reduce plastic in your wardrobe.
Indigo Luna’s activewear collection is made from GOTS Certified Organic Cotton, making it beautifully soft and comfortable, ideal for your yoga flow. This certification means the cotton is grown without GMOs, without harmful chemicals such as fertilisers, pesticides and insecticides, and with traceability from the cotton fields to the final customer including transaction certificates at each step.
All of Indigo Luna’s activewear is hand dyed with eco friendly dyes therefore slight dye batch variances may occur, please embrace any small imperfections as they give your garment its own unique personality!
60% of garments are now made from polyester. This quantity has doubled since the year 2000.
Kirchain et al. via Fashion Revolution
3. Opt For Plastic-Free Footwear
Not only are most beach and pool shoes made from plastic materials, but they are typically pretty flimsy and often replaced every couple of years, if not more frequently. Luckily Of Origin offer a natural, biodegradable and durable alternative. Their unisex jute espadrilles are handmade in Spain and entirely plant based.
We especially love Of Origin sandals because they are so versatile – beautiful worn with swimwear to the beach or dressed up with a summer dress.
4. Swim Sustainably
Another problem with synthetic fabrics is that when they are washed, tiny micro-plastic fibres shed from the fabric and make their way into our water ways and eventually the ocean, thus contributing to plastic pollution. This also applies if you are swimming in the ocean!
Natasha Tonic launched with the intention of changing women’s swimwear for the better. Their hemp swimwear is anti-microbial, UV resistant, biodegradable, durable and a healthier choice for your skin and the planet. Hemp fibre is natural and so when washed or swam in, the fabric will not shed synthetic microfibres into the ocean. The unique hemp fibre allows the swimsuits to perform double duty as lingerie, bodysuits or activewear!
We recommend a Guppyfriend bag if you are needing to wash synthetic clothing.
5. Choose Eco Intimates
We believe the intimates that sit closest to our skin should be as natural and sustainable as possible. Not only to protect our bodies, but the planet too. Investing in high quality, plastic-free lingerie and underwear is a wonderful way to reduce your own personal plastic waste since lingerie and hosiery is a commonly discarded and repurchased clothing item.
At REV we have carefully curated our collection of intimates to not only be made of sustainable fabric alternatives but also to be made to a high quality standard, reducing the likelihood of these pieces needing to replaced.
Synthetic fibres: fibres made from man-made materials including polyester, nylon, acrylic, elastane.
Natural fibres: fibres made from animal or plant materials including cotton, linen, wool, silk, hemp and bamboo.
GOTS certified organic cotton: cotton that is grown without GMOs, without harmful chemicals such as fertilisers, pesticides and insecticides, and with traceability from the cotton fields to the final customer including transaction certificates at each step.
Microplastic fibres: Tiny fibres that shed from clothing made from synthetic materials, contributing to plastic pollution.
Biodegradable: a material that breaks down and returns to nature.