Scientists have identified three solutions that are making fashion better for the planet. Among them, the first one is new fabrics that shed fewer microplastics. 60% of the world clothes are made synthetically from petrochemicals.
Polyester, nylon and acrylic contain tiny plastic strands called microfibers that come off into the water when you wash your clothes. Microfibers equivalent to more than 50 billion plastic bottles end up in the ocean every year Source: Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
So Polartect has designed material that sheds up to 5 times fewer plastic fibres. Source & footage: Polartec. And other companies are even making clothes that don’t need washing at all. Cutting down on the water and energy used in doing laundry. Pangaia T-shirt is treated with anti-microbial peppermint oil so it stays fresh without being washed. Source: Pangaia and could save 3000 litres of water over its lifetime while this unbound Merino pullover wicks sweat to its outer surface where it evaporates fast. Keeping the garment odourless for weeks, according to the company.
Another solution is Dyeing fabric without water. Traditional methods use 200 tons of water to dye 1 ton of fabric Source: Global Fashion Agenda. And dyeing causes 20% of industrial water pollution worldwide. Dutch company DyeCoo colours textiles using no water or excess chemicals. Instead, it dissolves dye in high-pressured CO2 footage: DyeCoo Textile Systems, YouTube. The CO2 is recycled and used again. And with no drying time needed the process is faster, cheaper and uses less energy.
Tracing supply chains with blockchain is a method of knowing how their clothes are made is key to transforming the industry. Using blockchain, consumers can scan a barcode with a smartphone Source: The Lenzing Group/Textile Genesis. To find out the carbon footprint of any garment as well as the sustainability of the fabric and ethics of the supply chain. 80% of the consumers want fashion brands to disclose their supply chain. Think how sustainable is your wardrobe?