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A compostable closet? What? It’s not as far fetched as you may think. When it comes to purchasing clothes, the material they’re made out of matter. They matter in regards to their production and in regards to the end of their life.
Most clothes these days and clothes that we’re used too are made of synthetic materials. Which just means that they’re fake and most often made of plastic.
Why Materials Matter:
This is dangerous for many reasons. Synthetic materials are by-products of petroleum which means they won’t biodegrade and pollute our landfills for years and years. Because they’re almost always made with high levels of chemicals, toxic dyes, and plastics, this adds even more environmental concern. Those toxic dyes and chemicals when sitting in a landfill can leech into our water systems and into our soil.
This type of pollution also happens when you wash synthetic materials. Microplastics and chemicals are released into our water systems.
Read: What are microplastics and how to avoid them
They can even be dangerous to wear. Just like putting toxins on our skin through our makeup and skincare is dangerous, wearing them can be too. It can be as subtle as feeling itchy or more prominent like a headache.
Chances are, we all own synthetic materials. And that’s ok. When purchasing clothing in the future here are a few materials to try and stay away from:
So what can we do?
Don’t run to your closet and throw all of your synthetic clothing out! Instead, purchase a Cora Ball! Just toss this little guy into your washing machine and it works to catch microplastics that are released from your clothing!
You can also, moving forward, start purchasing organic and natural materials.
A Compostable Closet:
Purchasing natural materials is better for both you and the planet. Natural textiles are renewable resources which is simply a resource that won’t run out because it regrows naturally.
Take bamboo, for instance, it not only requires very little water to grow but when cut down it will grow back without the need to be replanted.
Because natural fibres aren’t fake or synthetic they won’t release microplastics when washed which is always a win.
While some natural clothing may contain added chemicals or toxic dyes, it’s actually pretty rare. So you can feel pretty confident in purchasing these fibres.
Another super cool thing about natural materials is that they’re often carbon-neutral because they absorb the same amount of Co2 as they emit.
Along with being a more natural material and better for people with sensitive skin, materials that are natural will biodegrade and break down at the end of their life. Meaning nothing is stuck in a landfill to pollute!
Natural materials to keep an eye out for:
These are all great, natural fibres and a wonderful example of why materials matter. They come with little to no chemical footprint, no microplastics, and are endlessly renewable.
Here are some of my favourite places to get clothing made from natural fibres and materials:
1. Kotn– As a certified B Corp company, you can be sure that Kotn puts the environment first. Working directly with cotton farming families in Egypt to ensure quality and helping to rebuild the cotton industry with higher standards, their clothing is always made from natural materials.
2. Organic basics – Just as the name suggests, organic basics use GOTS certified organic cotton in their pieces. This ensures that not only are you getting the best, cleanest materials but also that every worker was paid a fair, living wage.
3. Pact – Pact is also GOTS certified. They’re authentically organic and it sets them apart as a brand that values the quality of their clothing.
4. Miakoda New York – Using materials like organic cotton, bamboo, and non-toxic dyes, Miakoda makes some of the most luxurious and eco-friendly clothing on the market.
Where to find ethical basics on a budget
How I’m transitioning to slow fashion
Affordable ethical clothing brands
I believe, at it’s core, that materials and fabrics make up the most important part of our clothes. I mean without them we wouldn’t have clothes to begin with. Choosing better fibres is a way to be kinder and more gentle on our planet. After all it’s the only one we’ve got.
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