10 Apr
2019

Green Eco Friendly Clothes – Bamboo, Nylon, Polyster, Microfiber

Posted by Norman F

Did you know that making clothes is a dirty process?  Per the Wall Street Journal April 2019:

The textile industry has generated about 380 million metric tons of plastic—more than other individual sectors such as electronics or consumer and industrial products or building and construction, according to a 2017 study in the journal Science Advances. Plastic accounts for 63% of the materials used to make clothes, according to a 2017 report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and 73% of those materials end up being incinerated or put in a landfill each year.

Most people do not want to negatively affect the environment with their clothing picks. Shockingly, there are several gotchas with even this simple Choice.

Plastic goes into polyester, which is used to make leggings, athletic wear and other garments. It is in polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, which gives clothes and accessories a glossy finish. And it goes into hangers, shopping bags, bubble wrap and other packaging material. Clothes made with plastic can take decades to decompose and the tiny fibers, or microplastics, they shed during laundering can end up polluting water streams.

Brands on the Leading edge

  • Everlane is pushing hard to use recycled plastic bottles, anorak from renewable materials.
  • Stella McCartney has phased out PVC from products and introduced an alternative material in some accessories in the Spring 2019 collection now in stores

Forget about straws, plastic bottles or coffee cups, your clothes maybe leaching plastic into the ocean.

  • Polyester, nylon, acrylic, and other synthetic fibers — all of which are forms of plastic — are now about 60 percent of the material that makes up our clothes worldwide.
  • Each year more than 500,000 metric tons of microfibers enters the ocean through WASHING of synthetic fabrics according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural resources.

Tiny plastic particles washed off products such as synthetic clothes and car tyres could contribute up to 30% of the ‘plastic soup’ polluting the world’s oceans and – in many developed countries – are a bigger source of marine plastic pollution than plastic waste, according to a new IUCN report.

  • Pending legislation in NY and CA would require labels on clothes made from more than 50% synthetic materials.
  • Patagonia has found that a lot of microfibers are shed on the first wash, few in subsequent ones.  In the future pre-treating clothes before sale could really help.
  • Top loading washers shed SEVEN times more than front loading washing machines shed.
  • Polyester fleeces shed 85 times more fibers than polyester fabric

Solutions

Nylon, Polyster Yoga Pants, Fleece, Sweat Wicking Athletic Wear

Would you believe that most of these items shed microscopic plastic fibers — called “microfibers” — when washed? Municipal Wastewater systems flush these microfibers into natural waterways, eventually reaching the sea. This would Possibly contaminate sea life. Other recent studies show that microfibers can end up in the stomachs of marine animals, including seafood such as oysters.

Comfortable athleisure clothes are emerging as an unlikely source of plastic that’s increasingly ending up in the oceans and potentially contaminating seafood, according to Gulf Coast researchers launching a 2-year study of microscopic plastics in the waters from south Texas to the Florida Keys.

Patagonia, has been a supporter of research into the prevalence of microfiber pollution and promote information for consumers about ways to minimize microfiber shedding in laundry.

How to reduce plastic pollution from Clothes?

If you wear clothes that’s 100 percent cotton, you are good. But generally, most clothes are a mix of materials, which is not so good.  So buy 100% Cotton.

Tests have shown Polyster-cotton blends are better than polyester or acrylic.

Bamboo Clothing

bamboo forest

Warning! Bamboo Clothing is not eco friendly. The Federal Trade Commission recently charged four sellers of clothing and other textile products with deceptively labeling and advertising these items as made of bamboo fiber, when they are made of rayon. The companies marketed the clothes as green, environmentally friendly, that they retain the natural antimicrobial properties of the bamboo plant, and that they are biodegradable.

“Rayon is a man-made fiber created from the cellulose found in plants and trees and processed with a harsh chemical that releases hazardous air pollutants. Any plant or tree could be used as the cellulose source – including bamboo – but the fiber that is created is rayon.”

As the Commission charges, even if the rayon used in the companies’ clothing and textile products is manufactured using bamboo as the cellulose source, rayon does not retain any natural antimicrobial properties of the bamboo plant. he rayon manufacturing process, which involves dissolving the plant source in harsh chemicals, eliminates any such natural properties of the bamboo plant.

Similarly, the Commission charges that the companies’ clothing and textiles are not made using an environmentally friendly process. The rayon manufacturing process uses toxic chemicals and results in the emission of hazardous air pollutants.”

Eco-friendly, Green clothes

Not utilizing resources to create new clothes, is obviously the most eco-friendly, green way to obtain new clothes. Secondhand stores, Goodwill, etc. are all good sources of high quality preowned clothes.

Levi’s Water‹Less jeans use on average 28% less water in the stone wash finishing process. Levi’s expects to save approximately 16,000,000 L of water by using this technique. Using traditional garment washing methods, the average pair of jeans undergoes 3-10 washing cycles – adding up to approximately 42 litres of water per unit to the water cost of each pair.

bamboo plates
Bamboo Plates
are getting more popular, just in time for summer and the go green wave. Free of bleaches, dyes, inks, fragrances, and microwave safe. Bamboo plates are stronger than most paper plates. Even mainstream brand Solo makes them. Many are made of organically grown bamboo and are compostable. Most are single use but hold up to multiple uses. Better yet, buy one that is not disposable, wash and reuse it.

eco Greenwares eco friendly Cutlery Set

Costco has just added eco Greenwares eco friendly Cutlery Set that is biodegradable and compostable.

Many things are being made out of fast growing bamboo. Bamboo Picture Frames are now available. Blick Gallery Bamboo Frames look a little plain but are finished with a biodegradable resin that contains no oils or solvents. We want to avoid VOCs on products, so every little bit helps.

Do you have any suggestions?

Posted on April 10th, 2019
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One Response to “Green Eco Friendly Clothes – Bamboo, Nylon, Polyster, Microfiber”

  1. Anam Khan Says:

    This made me realize how people sell man-made toxic products in the name of Eco-friendly.

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