In the past decade, humans have produced more disposable plastic than in the entire 20th century. It has been discovered in the highest mountains and the deepest oceans, with up to 12 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the sea each year - that's approximately the weight of a million London buses!
It might surprise you, but you're probably even wearing plastic clothes. And even more shockingly, your clothes may be leading to invisible plastics entering our oceans and even our own bodies.
Many of our clothes contain plastics like polyester, nylon, acrylic and polyamide. In fact, most new fabrics are made of plastic – up to 64% of them.
The thing is, every time we wash these materials, they shed millions of plastic microfibres. Threads so small they can drain out of our washing machines and pass straight through wastewater treatment plants into the sea.
It gets worse. Once in our oceans they can absorb nasty chemicals. Disturbingly, sea creatures are eating these toxic fibres, potentially passing them up the food chain. Some studies have found them in seafood like mussels.
The evidence is clear: we are suffocating our planet in plastic and it’s partly up to clothing retailers like us to put this right. We haven't got all the answers yet and we're not able to press a magic button. But here at Bellfield Clothing, we’ve been looking into alternatives to plastic to stop people from literally ‘eating their clothes.’
For this reason, we have created a ‘Save our Seas’ t-shirt as part of our new collection with environmental organisation Friends of the Earth, made from 100% organic cotton, and chosen to donate 10% of our sales to them. Better yet, we’ve committed to using 100% organic cottons on all sweats and jerseys, and include garments made from recycled materials, all by Summer 2020.
We are mindful of the fact that we are making baby steps, but progress is progress and these steps are in the right direction to clean up our planet. Here at Bellfield Clothing, we believe that by taking the lead and setting an example on environmentally friendly fashion, our actions will hopefully influence others to do the same.
If you’d like to find out more about fighting plastic pollution, check out Friends of the Earth’s website: https://friendsoftheearth.uk/plastics