Posts Tagged ‘Natural fiber’

Okay, so I’ll say this upfront: I’m probably going to take some shit for not thinking about this fact before starting my pledge off plastic:

Most clothing has plastic in it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t go clothing shopping very often—maybe once or twice per year. As a result, I don’t tend to think about these things, which leads me to how this realization came crashing down on me.

A couple of weeks ago, I was at Subway buying my normal sandwich before class. I was very specific in asking the sandwich-maker to not give me a bag, which led him to ask, “why?” He had scraggly hair and a half-dozen piercings. He seemed like a bit of a hippy, so I decided to explain that I had pledged off plastic for 90 days, which included plastic bags.

“Well what’s your coat made of?” he retorted.

I was wearing my favorite Kenneth Coal wool jacket. (I got it as a present, before I knew what a jackass Kenneth Cole was; see here if you don’t know what I mean).

I stuttered a bit and then mumbled that things I bought before the start of the pledge didn’t count. If that were the case, I’d be running around in the same two or three shirts that are 100% cotton or wool (and don’t have any synthetic threads or tags). The fact is that most manufactured clothing has plastic somewhere in it.

That being said, it got me to thinking about some strategies for buying plastic free clothing if I were to buy clothing more than once or twice per year.

Men Shopping for Clothing Accessories

(Photo credit: epSos.de)

  • Choose cotton, wool, or hemp instead of synthetic fibers such as nylon, polyester, and orlon.
  • Buy second-hand: This is a good practice for reducing your environmental footprint, regardless of whether you’re reducing plastic or not.
  • Make your own clothes. (Unlikely for me, but if you know someone who sews, pay them or trade them services to help out).

Underwear is a bit more of a challenge, and one that probably won’t come up during my 3-month pledge. However, My Plastic Free Life has some great recommendations for eco-friendly, plastic-lite undies.

One bright note is that a lot of companies are now created synthetic fabrics using plastic bottles and other recycled plastic goods. And although that plastic is still bound for landfills and oceans once the clothes wear out and get discarded, it’s nice to see a few clothing manufacturers changing habits.

As for me, this just sealed my fate as a second-hand shopper.

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