The Sustainable Wardrobe: synthetic fabric selection.

The Sustainable Wardrobe: synthetic fabric selection.


Hi everyone! So nice to see here,
again on my channel. Today we will talk about
synthetic types of fabrics and discuss their sustainability. The most popular
synthetic fabrics are polyester, nylon and acrylic. Synthetics are created through
an industrial manufacturing process in which petroleum – a fossil fuel – is mechanically transformed
into fibers for clothing. The resulting fiber, although soft and even silky, is actually a plastic. Polyester is a versatile and cheap fabric. It doesn’t wrinkle
and doesn’t need much ironing. Usually polyester does not absorb moisture making it hot when worn
in warm temperatures. High quality polyester lasts well and maintains the quality of its surface. Most polyester clothing
on the market is cheap, it has poor quality and is mainly used for fast fashion, made to last you only a few wears. Nylon is a very versatile material and is used for everything from stockings, sportswear, to carpets, packaging
and even parachutes. Nylon is a stretchable and durable fabric. Its main qualities are
that it dries quickly and it’s dirt resistant. Nylon doesn’t absorb moisture well, so it might be very hot to wear in the heat. Acrylic is a light, soft and warm fabric. It can look similar to wool or cotton. It absorbs and releases moisture quickly, which allows the fabric to “breathe”. Acrylic retains its shape and resists shrinkage and wrinkles. It’s also resistant to moths,
oil and chemicals, and sunlight degradation. Clothes made out of Acrylic
fabric do not wear well and have a tendency to peel. All synthetic fabrics are made out
of fossil fuel which is a carbon-intensive non-renewable resource. As we all know, the production of fossil fuels
emits carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, which is the leading cause of climate change. For example, each year more
than 70 million barrels of oil are used to make the world’s polyester fiber, which is now the most commonly used
fibre in our clothing. The chemical process involved
in synthetic fabrics production includes harmful chemicals, including those that cause cancer, and if transmitted to water and air untreated, it can cause significant
environmental damage. Synthetics are not suited to natural dyes and lowest impact chemical dyes, meaning that the process
of colouring the fibres also creates significant water pollution. Another huge problem is what happens when synthetics get
into the hands of consumers. Every time a synthetic fabric
is being washed, it releases tiny plastic bits – called microfibers. They flow down our drains, through water treatment plants, and out into our rivers, lakes and oceans
by the billions. They act like little sponges, attracting and absorbing other
toxic chemicals around them, like motor oil and pesticides. Eventually they climb their
way up the food chain, until they reach human bellies at mealtime. The only positive side
synthetic fabrics have is that they can be recycled and also be manufactured
from recycled plastics. There is a dual benefit here: we reduce plastic waste and at the same time decrease
our reliance on fossil fuels. Although the problem with microfibers
still stands. Any type of synthetic fabrics, blended ones included, is not biodegradable. They will stay up to 200 years in a landfill releasing their toxic chemicals, slowly killing our planet. As you can see, synthetic fabrics are not sustainable at all and cause many ethical
and environmental problems. I understand it’s hard
to avoid synthetic fabrics all together, as most of the athletic and
swimwear are made out of them. I would suggest to choose
only regenerated synthetics that were made from fishnets
or used water bottles, as they are becoming more popular and avoid any new-made synthetics. It’s a little bit less polluting, although it’s still far from perfect. But honestly, I think we should all change our mind-set that clothing is disposable. We need to realise that fashion is not for fun anymore, and it’s in fact a dangerous
and damaging industry. As consumers we can help only in one way and that is to choose better and wear our clothes longer. Making these new,
better choices takes time. Change is gradual. So, please be easy
on yourself and your wardrobe. Concentrate on future choices
rather than past ones. That’s it. I hope now
you feel more informed about what fabrics we find in the shops, how they are made and what are the eco-friendly
alternatives we can choose in order to do less harm to the planet. If you want to go deeper and create a sustainable wardrobe
for yourself, and by yourself, that is also stylish and interchangeable, I’d suggest taking the Wonder Wardrobe Course. The knowledge that you
get from this course will change the way
you build your wardrobe forever. If you have any questions or suggestions, please, leave them in the comments below. If you liked these video series, please, share them with your friends so they also can learn
about fashion sustainability. Press Like, and don’t forget
to subscribe to my channel. Thank you for watching.
See you next time.

46 Replies to “The Sustainable Wardrobe: synthetic fabric selection.”

  1. Thank you! I have been looking at labels when buying, but not really knowing what is bad and what is okay to buy in terms of sustainability. I have learnt a lot from this video and the previous two, which I will be sharing with friends and family. I had no idea about washing clothes releasing microfibres! I would like to know more if you are able to share – for example what are your thoughts on buying unsustainable materials second hand (I buy a lot of my clothing from charity shops)? Is it a good thing because clothes are used for longer or is it a bad thing because it still accepts the use of these materials? I'd also like to know more about what materials such as 'polyamide' are? I assume it's some form of polyester but not sure! Thank you Daria! X

  2. Thanks so much Daria! I'm really enjoying learning about the different types of fabric and their impact on the environment. I need to renew some of my knitwear for the cold months now and it's hard to find affordable knitwear without polyester/acrylic or blended fabrics.

  3. Daria I love and appreciate your channel so much!! I learn so much from you. As someone who tries to live life aware of the impact I have on the planet, I appreciate that you are helping to educate people on how we can choose better! Thank you! Xoxo

  4. Thank you, my mum has always made me and my brothers avoid these fabrics and I'm glad. However, I might begin using regenerated synthetics after having watched this. All you're videos are so great and seeing them really makes me happy and grateful!

  5. Thank you Daria, wonderful content on your channel. Everybody is talking about eliminating all harmful chemicals in our skin care and household cleaning products which is a great thing but I am glad you are talking about all the harm we are doing to ourselves and the planet by buying clothing made from unsustainable materials. I cringe at all the "clothing hauls" from Zara, asos, top shop etc that many youtubers are making.

  6. This serie has been mindblowing for me, it really got me more conscious about fabrics ,pollution
    I really want to thank you!

  7. О русской аудитории совсем забыли, жаль. Чтож пойду поищу в другом месте, удачи вам

  8. I love the conclusion of your series, and I absolutely agree with it. The only time I'd choose synthetic over 'natural' is when it comes to leather (which is actually proven to have less negative impact on the environment than leather). And that is out of animal well-being concerns. Love, Veronica

  9. Thanks Daria. This series has been very eye opening.
    I'm in need of a new handbag and I would love to know what you're thoughts are on leather Vs vegan leather.

  10. Thank you so much for this video. It really helped open my eyes about the fast fashion industry. Places like H&M & TopShop & ASOS are difficult to cross off my "favorite places to shop" list. At least ASOS has a eco-friendly section that I now exclusively choose before looking anywhere else on the site. I also scroll down to the details of a product before purchasing to . see what materials it's made of and ask myself, realistically, how often I would wear said item and if it's worth harming the planet for. It has definitely made me more conscious. Thank you!

  11. My mother is an exquisite seamstress. She's been making my clothes since I was a kid (yes, she still does today. I design and she makes them to my picky taste – which I got from her 🙂 ). From her I also learned to feel the fabrics and, since we live in Brazil, to choose natural ones, mainly cotton. From my father I learned to value quality over quantity. So I have pieces that are over 10, 15 years old and I probably won't stop using them anytime soon. I love your channel and I share it with my friends who are interested firstly in styling tips and classes. I think you do an amazing work going the extra mile and doing this research about the depths of the fashion industry. Congratulations! Love, Nathália

  12. Thanks for the great video, Daria! Yesterday, I made a conscious choice to stay away from high street retailers and shop my own closet. It felt great! 🙂

  13. Thank you so much for this well made video! Everyone needs to know this. At home we only wear only natural fibers on our skin. This way we I save our environment and ourselves from these harmful plastics.

  14. For washing synthetics, the Guppy Friend bag (by Patagonia) or Cora ball collect microfibers and prevent them going down the drain. Both are used in the washing machine! Thanks, Daria, for raising awareness about how to love clothing AND the planet.

  15. Daria I'm a guy and I can't (easily and at the moment) find sweatpants that are 100% cotton because they are hard to come by in Morocco. Western brands shops sell sweatpants that are 50% cotton and 50% poly, although I dislike polyester very much, is it ok to wear those everyday for like 50% of the day ? (For work/studying/outside I wear jeans/dress pants but as soon as I'm home or for exercise I wear sweatpants.) I'm not really concerned about microfibers atm but I am concerned about my health if I am contact with polyester. How bad are 50% poly-cotton sweatpants ?

  16. I researched about this topic, and the impact of fashion in general, so I knew a lot about this already, but I still learned knew things and I think it is very important that these sort of videos are made, because not enough people know or care about the impact of fashion on the environment and the people who make them. I loved the video, please continue making them.

  17. I really want to buy ALL my clothing from 1-2 stores, if at all possible. Can you recommend good stores that sell natural fabrics?

  18. Would you consider wardrobe capsule based on preloved pieces? I think that would be a great re-enforcement of the fabric lesson and budget lesson. Thanks so much for all the tutes 🙂

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