Suddenly it's all over the news, and more people are starting to understand why synthetic clothing is bad for the planet. But as with any new information there's a tendency to throw out the baby with the bathwater.
At Ravir, we've been following a policy of natural fibres - wherever possible - for the past 10 years. In that time, we've learned a lot - and it's been a frustrating and expensive exercise.
For example, you'd think that organic cotton tees would be a winner. But if they're not well-designed, or if the colours are boring, or they're too expensive, they just don't sell. The same goes for any garment made from natural fibres. No one is going to pay extra simply because it's cotton, linen or hemp. But if it's any of the natural fibres, and the colours work, and the styling is well-done, of course they sell.
Unfortunately, more than a few of the labels offering natural fibres are inexperienced. Their hearts are in the right place, but they lack the knowledge of those in the industry with more experience in design - including fit and sizing - and colour. The styles often appeal to a more alternative culture rather than mainstream, which is fine, but it leaves a real gap in the market.
That will all change, now that there's been a quantum leap in our understanding. But there will be some interesting debates on whether all clothing can or should be totally natural, given our penchant for a little give in our garments, particularly pants (thanks to elastane and lycra) and clothing that maintains its shape (thanks to a little nylon or poly).
In short, although synthetics are a very poor choice, is that the whole story? Or is there room for a little stretch. Watch out for our next blog to find out more about the clothing industry and plastics.