70 million barrels of oil are used every year to produce polyester. This means polyester is a kind of plastic. As a fossil fuel this means the production of polyester is not renewable or sustainable. Added on to this is the fact that fossil fuels are the most significant contributor to increasing C02 emissions and therefore global warming. Its very popular in the textile industry and is desirable to fashion manufacturers because it’s cheap and allows them to make massive profits.
It can take up to 200 years for polyester to decompose as it’s not naturally biodegradable. This means every piece of polyester clothing you buy still exists long after you’ve gotten rid of it. As it starts to decompose, methane is released, a greenhouse gas even more potent than carbon dioxide.When polyester is washed, tiny synthetic microfibre are released into the water supply. These tiny bits of plastic build up in our rivers and oceans and pose a threat to the environment. A study by Plymouth University discovered that one wash could release 4,000 microfibres per gram of fabric, but also up to 400 microfibres are shed simply by wearing polyester clothing. These contribute to 31% of plastic pollution in the ocean and cause substantial harm to marine life.
So, what can you do? Organise a clothes swap if you want some new threads. Check out the awesome charity shops first. Try and buy natural fibre clothing that are organic from responsible brands. Save energy, water and protect the rivers and oceans by washing your clothes less often.