A quick rifle through the labels of most modern-day wardrobes will reveal a plethora of synthetic fibres: polyester, acrylic, elastane, polyamide, polypropylene, nylon, RPET, Spandex. That’s a lot of plastic. In fact, most of fashion’s fibres and fabrics are now plastic and it’s a disaster for our planet and our health.
In just a few decades, the fashion industry’s fibre mix has completely transformed from favouring natural fibres such as Wool and Cotton to leaning heavily on cheap plastic. That puts a strain on the environment at both ends of the supply chain. At the beginning, you have the extraction of the fossil fuels needed to make these plastic fabrics, and at the end you have plastic clothing sitting in the environment for decades, even centuries, blighting the landscape and shedding microplastics. Fashion is well overdue facing up to its ever-expanding plastic use.