Fashion will soon usurp oil as the world's most polluting industry, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Every action you take as one person plays a part in the bigger picture, and you have the power to create positive change on a global scale.
At The Fashion Advocate, we advocate for better. Better ethics, more transparency, and better environmental outcomes. We're a community of independent labels who are designing for positive change, and together, we reach thousands of readers, shoppers and supporters who are passionate about sustainability and ethics.
One of the most significant environmental threats we’re currently tacking is plastic. You might not think fashion has anything to do with plastic, but here’s what you need to know.
More than 8 million tonnes of plastic leaks into the world’s oceans each year to be ingested by seabirds, fish and other organisms, and more than 230,000 tonnes of it are microplastics. By 2050 the sea will contain more plastic by weight than fish.
When most of us think ‘plastic’, we think single-use bottles, food packets, plastic bags or straws, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Plastic is in our clothes, and it’s been in our clothes for decades. Polyester is a human-made polymer, otherwise known as polyethene terephthalate or PET, a plastic derived from crude oil. Lycra is a synthetic human-made fibre, a polyester-polyurethane copolymer. Both Lycra and polyester shed fibres every time they’re washed, and these micro-plastic fibres wash straight into the ocean.
When it comes to packaging, the fashion industry is accountable for up to 45% of plastic waste; from postage satchels to protective bubble wrap, those little plastic swing tag hooks and the layers and layers of plastic wrapping found on imported fashion. Plastic is being over-used and under-recycled. We're making too much too fast, throwing away too much, and it's time to take action.
Here’s how you can help solve the plastic pollution crisis:
Support brands who use natural or organic fabrics.
Support brands who use recycled materials.
Refuse plastic shopping bags when you’re out and about.
Shop from online stores like The Fashion Advocate that use plastic-free biodegradable packaging.
Make a statement with your wardrobe and stand up for the kind of world you want to live in.
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