The only place for posing in the fashion industry is with the models. Companies and brands should always be transparent and act as natural as possible. The same philosophy should be attributed to the composition used within their clothing standards. Over the last few years, it’s become far too easy to reach for the latest fashions and not really give an iota as to how it was made, because if it looks nice on display, is relatively cheap and fits well, then no questions tend to be asked. In spite of that, if made from synthetic fibre, then you can hedge your bets that a simple t-shirt or blouse could very well be damaging to the environment.
Natural materials in the industry are quickly becoming the norm as people turn to plant-based wardrobes. People are beginning to see the fashion world’s true damage to the environment. It’s now apparent that the use of natural fibres, cotton, wool, and hemp is the way fashion can move forward. An abundance of natural clothing is widely available and ready to buy. But for true victory, the old practices must be washed out, once and for all. Diligence is needed on all fronts for this to happen. It’s not an issue that can just simply be patched over.
The Sins of Synthetic
The word synthetic isn’t the most appealing in the English dictionary. Yet, you see it everywhere, it’s weaved into almost every aspect of modern life. You can pretty much get your hands on anything synthetic if you look hard enough.
Synthetic materials are manmade and include stuff like polyester, acrylic and Lycra. They are considerably cheaper to purchase and manufacture but contribute to a disturbing amount of carbon emissions, chemicals, waste and pollution to the planet. Often petrochemical, synthetic fabrics are in essence plastics. This means when washed, they release microfibres and microplastics into rivers and oceans, which have extreme consequences on the environment and its inhabitants.
According to a report done by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, it was reported that 35% of microplastics released into the world’s oceans are from synthetic textiles. Microplastics are found in all living organisms, 700,000 microscopic fibres make their way into the oceans, where they are swallowed by sea life and become merged into the food chain, where they end up on our plates, in our drinking water, and even in the foetuses of pregnant women.
On top of all this, synthetic materials used in the creation of clothing are made from non-renewable fossil fuels. The production of polyester needs double the amount of energy compared to making conventional cotton. Synthetic materials can also irritate the skin very easily, can make you sweat and they trap odour. They are not readily biodegradable, which ultimately leads to pollution.
Au naturel Materials
No, we don’t want you to go naked, but we do want you to take natural materials in your stride and think about favouring them when you purchase your next set of garments. For thousands of years, people have been crafting with natural materials. But when the western world leaned towards industrialisation, synthetics took over, creating a ripple effect that is now causing a tidal wave of destruction in the fashion industry.
If we are slow to the looming threat of climate change then it will be too late. We should be getting inspiration from linen, cotton, hemp, silk, cashmere, wool, jute, bamboo, mohair and even leather. The Leather Working Group is a not-for-profit organisation that is responsible for the world’s leading environmental certification for the leather manufacturing industry. They are the number one globally recognised brand that represents responsible leather sourcing to the industry and consumers. They are constantly assessing the environmental performance and compliance of leather manufacturing facilities to ensure safe practices and the environment is ahead of everything else.
Spin a new take on your fashion choices by choosing natural materials. At Blackleaf, we are so passionate about our world and protecting it, which is why we make it our mission to provide our customers with more sustainable options of clothing and accessories. By making more mindful decisions about your clothing, you will be helping to work towards a future where synthetic will never be the aesthetic.
The certifications mentioned are just a few of the many we must look out for as consumers. Other important certifications include; The Microfibre Commitment, Yulex, and Tencel. If you would like to see our collection of sustainable gear on the Blackleaf site, you can check out the range here.