So we know what type of fabric is kind of an unpopular choice among the clothes critics. It’s the type that when produced cheaply feels rough and easy to ruin. It feels uncomfortable to wear at times, and it isn’t good for the environment once it’s finished its purpose. Yes, you guessed it, it’s plastic.
It seems like the kind of fabric that you’d want to phase out altogether, because we’ve heard so much about the negative impact of it. Polluting the world and causing harm to nature and animals, this seems like something we should eliminate once and for all.
The problem is that it can’t just go away like that. We still need it, and it can’t disappear yet without causing more problems to the environment. But it’s properties actually make it pretty great for certain things.
So let’s see what they are.
Have you ever been out and about one day, and then all of a sudden it starts raining? Or you’re walking to work in your uniform with those all- absorbing cotton pants that just don’t dry off for the whole of your shift? Yep, I’ve been there.
But there is one fabric that is so good at keeping you dry, especially because it hardly absorbs any water. It’s plastic! It’s actually a great material that can be worn because it can be made to be flexible. Coats, umbrellas, gazebos and tents are all made from this for a reason. Even wellies are made of plastic because there’s no way that water is getting in there.
So when going on holiday, especially if you’ll be swimming in water a lot, towels are a must bring item. The problem with a lot of normal towels is they stay soaked and take a few days to air dry. If they’re made of something like Egyptian cotton, then this is why. The cotton loves to absorb water, but doesn’t let it go easily.
So when you’re on holiday, this is far from ideal. You want a fabric that can lightly dry you off but can also dry quickly so you can pack it in your bag again.
Microfiber towels are the best for this job, and they’re made of plastic. With the property of a plastic, it’s not only great at staying dry, it can be washed quickly and easily so you don’t have to worry about packing it away all wet.
Same goes for polyester based clothes on vacation. You don’t want to worry about washing and drying times for your clothes, you just want to have them there ready when you need them! That’s why packing a polyester tee shirt means you can wash it and dry it in hours.
Don’t worry, I have tried and tested this on vacation in hotter countries when I needed to launder my clothes between wears. If you’re in tropical climate weather, this will definitely work and you can wear fresh clothes everyday (if you want to wash it everyday!)
Clothes from Recyclables
This invention is so clever for so many reasons. Imagine your plastic bottle that you bought your water in. Chances are it’s made of a cheap and easy to recycle kind of plastic. Now that plastic can actually be recycled back into another new water bottle, or it can become the threads for a fabric, to make any piece of clothing!
It’s pretty amazing to imagine that those plastics can be recycled into something completely new. Two things that don’t look the same at all can be linked just by the material it’s made out of.
Quite a few places now do a scheme where they recycle clothes and repurpose the fabric. H&M comes to mind as the most popular place to go for this. This is such a great idea as H&M already sell clothes, so they have part of the customer base responsible for clothing consumption, and very possibly responsible for wasting clothes.
So by doing a scheme that aims to recycle clothes, including polyester based fabrics, it’s putting these unwanted clothes back into better use again, into new clothes that can be worn again. This is much better than leaving it in landfill.
With these plastic fabrics, you know that they’re generally going to last a lifetime. Although that feature is problematic, there’s a good thing to have if you want to keep these items forever.
Your exercise gear is usually made of polyester. This is great because when you’re exercising, you’re going to be moving a lot. This could cause some wear and tear to the clothing, but since polyester is strong, they will have no issues staying intact.
So before you consider throwing out everything you own that is plastic, think about why it was pretty useful in the first place. We can continue to integrate it into our lives without making it a detriment to the planet.