Polyester takes more than 200 years to break down in landfill, but it never decomposes.

Polyester sucks. There's no easy way to say it. It's bad for the planet, it's bad for people, and it's simply not sustainable, so if you're running a slow fashion business in 2024 and using polyester, it's time to phase it out. 

Here's the scoop...

Nearly 70 million barrels of oil are used each year to make the world's use of polyester. Oil is a non-renewable resource; once it's gone, it's gone.

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 polyester is washed, tiny micro-plastic fibres shed into the run-off water and make their way into our oceans. Eventually, they end up in the bodies of the fish we eat. Fashion is now responsible for 35% of the micro-plastic fibres found in the ocean.

The production of polyester is an energy-intensive process, and turning oil into a wearable textile requires a lot of toxic chemicals too. The manufacturing process of polyester emits dangerous 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.

In a nutshell, polyester sucks. Once you know, you know, and now you know, it's time to phase it out of your slow fashion supply chain. If you need help doing that, reach out to me! I'd love to show you alternatives to polyester and help you build a slow fashion brand that is truly sustainable. 

Reach out. 

Claire x

A single polyester garment takes more than 200 years to break down in landfill, but it never decomposes The Fashion Advocate sustainable mentor coach business

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