Polyester sucks. There's no easy way to say it.
Nearly 70 million barrels of oil are used each year to make the world's use of polyester, and oil is a non-renewable resource. Once it's gone, it's gone, but it doesn't just suck for that reason...
A single polyester garment takes more than 200 years to break down in landfill, but it never decomposes. It just breaks down into smaller plastic particles, and those particles exist - forever.
Every time you wash polyester, tiny plastic microfibers shed into the run-off water and make their way into our oceans too, and fashion is now responsible for 35% of the plastic micro fibers found in the ocean.
The production of polyester is an extremely intensive process, and turning oil into textiles requires a lot of energy and a lot of toxic chemicals. The manufacturing process of polyester emits gasses like N2O, which is 300 times more damaging to our environment than CO2.
One polyester shirt has a 5.5kg carbon footprint, compared to just 2.1kg for a cotton shirt.
63% of all fashion sold is now made with polyester. If the average Australian sends 23kg of clothing to landfill every year and 63% of it is made with polyester, we are literally throwing away non-renewable resources by the kilo, and leaving a toxic chemical trail in the process.
Polyester is terrible for the environment, but it also poses several health risks too. Polyester is a chemically-produced fibre, and when it's in close contact with your skin - the body's largest organ - you absorb the toxins it's made with. Polyester contains chemicals like perfluorochemicals (PFCs) and formaldehyde, both of which are proven to cause cancer, liver damage, kidney damage and reproductive issues.
Have I convinced you yet? If you need a little more persuasion, watch my interview with Kate Luckins of Sustainable Lifestyle. It's a jam-packed interview full of fast fashion debates, polyester-damning, and really good points around what we can do to change the future of fashion for the better.
We don't have to accept what fashion is doing to the planet - we can change it. Have a watch and inbox me your thoughts on Instagram or send me an email. I LOVE chatting about the complexities of polyester! And if you'd love to learn more about how you can use your fashion business as a force for good and avoid polyester, you'll love my Sustainable Business Strategy Online Masterclass Course which you can check out here.