According to Common Objective (a tech platform designed to make sustainability easier for fashion businesses), "65% of all fibers used in the fashion industry are made from synthetic material – mainly polyester...". With 95% of all future fiber growth coming from polyester, we have to ask ourselves, how come it's so popular? It's simple, it's cheap to make, and its characteristics make it easy to use for almost any kind of clothing. Despite's polyester's versatility, it's effects on the environment make it a hard pass. Not only is it NOT biodegradable, but its dyes and manufacturing process heavily pollute our water. And that's without mentioning the microfibers it releases once it's washed...
If it's cheap to make, why are trendy french brands like Rouje, Maje, or Sandro selling us dresses, coats, and vests for €200+? Because we don't know better, and we equate higher prices with higher quality. Since supply chains are opaque, the easiest way we can tell whether a piece of clothing is worth it is by its composition.
Take Rouje's latest collection as an example. They released various coats and dresses that were vintage-inspired but made almost exclusively of polyester or synthetic materials. At their price range, a quick look at any second-hand shop would let you know that you could get very similar items made from natural fabrics (wool, cotton, leather) at a significantly lower price. So it's not just about polyester's effect on the environment but also on your bank account. Rouje's Jacque's Jacket costs 250€, but its composition is 75% synthetic materials (50% acrylic and 25% polyester).
Blazer Billie 100 % laine
Ultimately, the biggest problem is not necessarily the fabric we choose but rather the demand and the problems that overproduction create. While opting for natural fibers is almost always a better choice, not buying at all or consuming second-hand is better. Not only will you be saving money but also getting something that takes less toll on the environment.
Article rédigé par @diana.ville
Photographie par @elisaramii