Eco friendly, Plastic Free, Sustainable, Ethical clothing?
If you want to make eco friendly choices you need to be aware of soooo much. Eco friendly, plastic free, sustainable, ethical, fair, etc... It is not easy to find the right and 100% best solution so it is again about finding the happiest choice for you.
I actually never ever thought about my clothes were made of plastic before my plastic free journey. Even though I knew Polyester is not a natural material.
I was mostly always looking for cotton clothing though, because wool is too scratchy for my skin, and I don´t like to feel sweaty, i get "electrically charged" quickly if I wear synthetic clothing and I just don´t like the feeling of many plastic materials. But mainly if I "needed" new clothes I weren't looking at the material in first hand because I didn't know about the problem.
But thats normal right? People don´t think about these things if nobody tells you: hey, we have a problem and you know what? Your clothes are a problem too. Its not only about fairness for the workers in the factories, it´s also about what your clothes are made of, how they get dyed. And it is about our ocean because the toxic water with the dye is going somewhere and plastic in clothes means micro plastics in the ocean.
Yes, if we wash our clothing they shed micro fibers. So tiny they get straight through filters. So tiny if we would have filters for those in the drains the drain will get clogged up too quickly. These micro fibers go straight into wild waters, rivers and end up in the ocean.
In some parts of the ocean where pollution is high, they counted more micro plastics than plankton already.
And all of the beautiful creatures out there feasting on plankton, eat masses of these tiny plastics now too :(
The fashion industry is the second dirtiest industry on the planet (Oil is number one).
The last years the fast fashion got more and more popular. People buying cheap stuff, throwing it away after a few usages just to buy new cheap stuff. No thoughts about where and who and how it gets produced.
Only reason to buy: Cheap. So you actually buy more than you need easily...
And suddenly you will look at your closet and its filled with yoga pants, and fitness shirts, and dresses and pants, bags (I had sooooo many bags in my twens) and too many shoes mainly made of Polyester, and what is Polyester: Polyester is a synthetic fiber, made from coal, air, water and petroleum.
Petroleum is a fossile fuel mostly recovered by oil drilling and its refined into a large number of products like gasoline, asphalt, plastics, medications, single use/disposable items, food wrapper...
The use of fossile fuels will have a negative impact on our Earths biosphere and is damaging ecosystems. The burning of fossile fuels plays a mayor role in global warming.
I actually also always went second hand shopping when I was younger, mostly to save money and to find unique clothing, and I still do. But for underwear or running shoes or fitness clothing you need to feel comfortable with what you buy. Shoes need to be good for your feet or else you can get bad back and knee problems...
So yes I also buy new products once in a while, but I try to find the happiest choice for me.
(Like these headphones** made of 70% Bio plastic from the company House Of Marley I just bought in Montreal. (Packaging is made of recycled materials.) My old headphones broke and I can`t find nice ones second hand and I don't want to wait for another month or two until I find some. )
Let's Fix it:
Our grand parents and grand grand parents where still having long lasting clothing.
And those were not made of plastic but made of wool, cotton or linnen. If the jeans had a hole, it would get fixed, so did socks and shirts and shoes.
If you are discovering a hole try to fix it. If you can't do so yourself, try and find somebody to help you. Bring your favorite pair of shoes to a shoe maker. Fun Fact: If you buy a good quality shoe made of good materials it will first of all last longer and its better to repair. The cheap shoes made of cheap materials are mostly not even made to get repaired...
9 tips what you can do against micro plastic fiber:
You find a little interesting film about micro plastics here -> Youtube: The story of microfibers
Be aware that if clothings are made of recycled plastic they will shed micro plastic fibers too!!!! So yes, it is always better to use recycled materials, but please make sure to wash those products by hand or use the Guppy Friend washing bag.
I will list only a few brands and products that use natural materials, recycled materials, organic etc. Mostly they have other products too, so like if you want to find healthy food, check the "ingredients" list for your choice of clothings (and other products) too ;)
I am concentrating a little bit on fitness wear this time because that's actually my biggest struggle. To find nice natural fitness/active wear with less plastic or at least recycled fabrics. I am still wearing my old, polyester, worn out running pants and sports bra and socks and second hand polyester swim wear but hand washing these!!!
While I was looking for plastic free fitness clothing I found a few brands that are concentrating on sustainability. Some are vegan, some are organic non vegan, some are both, some have cotton and recycled polyester, etc. It is not easy to find a favorite when it comes to clothing and fabrics because all of us have different priorities (either vegan, or plastic free, or organic, or etc......)
If you know of any nice brands you like to share let me know in the comments!
(Affiliate links are signed with two small stars**)
A few brands I found on my research on plastic free fitness clothing.
I haven’t found good and affordable plastic free swimwear yet, but a few brands using fabrics made of recycled plastic bottles. They still shed fibers while washing them, but they don’t use new nonrenewable resources. So better than buying swimwear made of new plastic fibers? In my opinion if you cannot avoid plastic, a yes to recycled plastic. But I would only wash them by hand or in a Guppy Friend Bag.
When it comes to running shoes there is as far as I know no such thing as a natural material made running shoe (tell me Im wrong if you know anything). But since your not washing your shoes weekly in the machine like you most likely do with your clothing its not a micro fiber problem with shoes. And there are some brands out there changing their productions quickly, using recycled materials, switching to a more eco friendly production.
Adidas is working together with parley for the ocean to make yarn out of recycled ocean plastic. They have a collection of **running shoes, and a few other fitness clothings made of recycled materials already.Trying to use only recycled materials for their products in the near future.
Brooks running: another company working on reducing their footprint, using some recycled materials and rubber soles for their running shoes**.
What to do with old running shoes/sneakers?
First of all if you have lightly worn out shoes you could donate them to organizations like: https://soles4souls.org/ or an ethical trustworthy donation place in your neighborhood.
If you have totally run down running shoes Nike is offering a drop off, and they recycle them into Nike Grind which is used to make indoor basket ball courts, tracks, fields, and playgrounds. Drop off in Nike stores or mail them there.
Some articles might contain Affiliate Links. These Links are marked with two small stars: **. You can read more about what affiliate links arehere: Affiliate Links. (And why I use Affiliate links : About me)
Hi my name is Jule
I am a nature and ocean lover. A passionate runner and minimalistic traveller. On this blog I share my experiences, thoughts and ideas about the "sustainable lifestyle" and how you can stick to this while traveling.
You like what I share? If yes, feel free to buy me a coffee <3