Did you know that the t-shirt you’re wearing can have a huge impact on the quality of our rivers and ocean?
Finally, in the wake of documentaries such as A plastic ocean, Blue the film and the ABC series War on Waste, we are finally seeing a more conscious movement and people are beginning to think twice about having their coffee in single-use take away cups, or putting their shopping in those horrible thin plastic bags. And while most people are now aware that body scrubs and beauty products might have tiny microplastics, which are flushed out into our rivers and ocean when used, it is still evident that people don’t think twice when they throw their polyester t-shirt into the washing machine.
Our oceans are in danger, and too are all of its inhabitants because of the ‘plastic evolution’ post the 1970’s. We are addicted to plastic. And every day, at some point, we will be in contact with plastic. And that starts the minute you get in the shower of a morning when you use the body wash that’s stored in plastic packaging, to the minute you get dressed and you put a shirt on your back that is in fact made of plastic. Not only is constant contact with your skin questionable for your health, but the minute you put that item of clothing into the washing machine, the health impact is a whole other story.
When you wash your clothes in the washing machine, the abrasion of clothes removes tiny plastic particles that are too small to be caught by the machines in-built filters. In a single wash, there could be hundreds of thousands of micro fibres that leak out of clothing. These fibres then travel their way down to the local treatment plant, and again are too small to be picked up by the filtration system there. As a result, the fibres escape into rivers and then the ocean.
This is the result of fast-fashion, mass produced, cheap quality clothing which you saved money on at the initial point of sale, but you inevitably pay for, time and time again. As these micro plastics enter the ocean, they essentially enter our food chain and as the cycle continues, eventually if you eat seafood, you will also be consuming these plastic fibres.
So, what do you do?
Be conscious when purchasing clothing the next time you are at the shops or browsing online. Look at the label on the clothing and aim to choose good quality fabrics such as sustainable cotton. When buying directly from small organisations it is more likely that you will be able to find out whether the cotton they are using is in fact sustainable, and whether the production of the clothes includes sustainable practices, free from child or abusive labour conditions. Which are the types of things that can easily be hidden behind the doors of large retail corporations.
Each and every person can make small decisions everyday that can help the health of our rivers and oceans, starting with the decision you make to put a sustainable piece of clothing on your back when you get dressed of a morning.
Paddle Dogs Australia is proud to announce that our sustainable 100% cotton clothing range is currently in production, which our apparel launch on the 29th of April at Xanadu Terrigal.
Check out this great article which goes further in-depth around the cotton industry and what it truly means to be ‘sustainable cotton’ as there is a lot of misunderstanding around the topic. I would also highly recommend watching the documentaries mentioned above which give a holistic view of the ever growing plastic pollution crisis we face today.