April is Earth Month—a time to ask “who made my clothes” and what are my clothes made from? But, why does it matter what our clothing is made from? Approximately 65 percent of all clothing is produced from synthetic fibers (e.g. polyester) made from polymers, chemicals derived from petrochemicals. Essentially, these textiles are plastic, which cannot biodegrade and have infiltrated our environment in unexpectedly harmful ways. Only 0.07 percent of all synthetic fibers are made sustainably—that is why fabrics like econyl, which is made from recycled plastics are a valuable way to create textiles that help wick away moisture and are necessary for workout and swimwear. Synthetic fabrics are energy intensive in their creation, and take hundreds of years to decompose—think about all that polyester from the 60s that is still in mint condition! Plus, it sheds micro plastics into the ocean via your washing machine with each wash, and pollutes our air.
While products made of plant-derived virgin material offer their own challenges when produced on a mass scale and therefore aren’t a silver bullet for solving fashion’s sustainability issues, they have many benefits over synthetic fabrics. At the very least, fabrics derived from organic matter are biodegradable, breathable, sometimes anit-microbial, which is why this month we are sharing with you our Frontlash Finds made from plants.
Cover Photo: Sylvia Austen