Synthetic Clothing and Clothes Swapping

Nylon and Polyester are amongst the most commonly used synthetic materials for clothing manufacture. They are made from petro chemicals and their production pollutes the environment and adds to the growing problem of global warming. The disposal of synthetic clothing also prevents a significant problem as it does not easily decompose or bio degrade. Nylon takes 30 to 40 years to decompose.

During the production of nylon nitrous oxide is released. This green house gas contributes to global warming and is 310 times stronger than carbon dioxide. Polyester manufacture which uses non renewable petrochemicals is an energy intensive process and releasesemissions including volatile organic compounds, particulate matter, and acid gases such as hydrogen chloride, all of which can cause or aggravate respiratory disease. Polyester manufacturing plants release Volatile monomers, solvents, and other by-products of polyester production in the waste water.

It all sounds pretty bad and the increased use of these synthetic fibers to manufacture cheap, fast fashions has further added to the problem. But synthetic clothing does have some plus sides, it drys quickly and does not usually require as much ironing as synthetic fabrics. Both of these activities use energy and therefore cause carbon dioxide emmission and contribute to the problem of glocal warming. So what is the solution?

Whilst much research is being carried out to find the perfect eco fabric, common sense suggests that one of the best things that you can do for the environment is to recycle clothing, buy less new clothes and throw less clothing away. Clothes swapping is a great way to ensure that your clothes get plenty of wear and are not thrown away before the end of their useful life. Second hand clothes are so much more sustainable than synthetic clothing and fast fashion. All clothing manufacture, eco fashion or not has some level of environmental impact so recycling is the only completely eco friendly option.

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