Australians throw away over 80% of their textiles each year - we are second highest wasters in the world! I find figure is disturbing - do you too? Most of these fabrics are synthetic and as you know, in landfill these take ages to break down.
|image source: www.onegreenplanet.org|
Did you know, even more disturbingly, that when we wash our synthetic clothes they are contaminating the oceans too - poisoning all types of sea creatures and coming back as toxic food? Microfibres from degrading synthetics, a type of micro-plastic, are a major global problem. Thousands of fibres come off every time we wash - polar fleeces are one of the worst. The chemicals from these microfibres have been found in the flesh of fish (not just the gut). One quarter of all fish contain micro-plastics and micro-fibres.
According to Dr Mark Brown of UNSW, 85% of plastics in the environment are micro-plastics and these are persistent, cumulative and toxic. Dr Brown has studied fish on 6 continents and found that micro-fibres from synthetic clothing are the main micro-plastics in fish. So what does this mean? For one, micro-fibres contain flame retardants which are endocrine disruptors affecting our hormonal systems and altering our immune responses. Read more in the ABC Catalyst story : http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/4424996.htm
There are billions of people wearing and washing plastic clothing every day. This micro-fibre problem is immense - more diabolical than micro-beads.
Let's stop and ask "What impact do the clothes I am wearing and the sheets I am sleeping on have on my my health, my family's health, on the health of Earth's ecological systems, as well as the well-being of the people that made them?"
The long and short of this:
- Synthetic fibres shed and accumulate as toxicity in nature.
- Natural fibres biodegrade and are recycled by nature. (Most of my old clothes end up as mulch, worm food and compost)
Those of you who have read my blog posts before know I focus on food and growing, but today I am moved to write from a different angle. Thanks to the many recent conversations I've had with people on this disastrous link between fast fashion, ecological systems disruption and toxicity in our food.
Please join me in thinking about this big issue and next time you are heading out to make a textile purchase. And please me spread the word by sharing this post with your friends and networks.
Think, buy, use, renew and make natural!
|Might be time to get those alpacas ....|
image source: www.goodonyou.org.au
Labels: cleaning, composting, cycling, eco-fashion, family, health, reducing waste, simple living, systems view of life, up-cycling