Week #5. Choose natural, low manufacture materials.

At one point or another, we've all had somebody tell us that natural is better than artificial. And it's usually in the context that includes foods; but, have you ever thought about it applying to your clothing or your furniture?

Let me explain a little more...

For everything that was once created using natural fibres like clothing made from cotton or silk, there is now far more man made synthetics like nylon or polyester included in the manufacture process. Check the tag on your shirt right now, does it include these materials?

Why is that the case?

Well, profits. You see when companies use man made fibres, they can make as much as they like whenever they like using chemicals and industrial processes. Whereas when natural fibres are used, materials such as wool, linen, silk, cotton, bamboo etc there's a lot more time and effort that goes into planting, growing, feeding and harvesting before being able to prepare them for manufacture.

Why is artificial such a bad thing anyway?

Well 2 main reasons.

1: the large number of chemicals used during the manufacturing process puts a negative impact on the environment by leaching the chemicals into waterways at time of manufacture as well as when the clothes are sold and washed by their new wearer,

2: once synthetic materials are no longer required by the wearer and are disposed of, they are extremely hard to break down, sometimes taking decades to do so. Think of it this way - your favourite clothing item you wore as a little kid, whether it be pyjamas, T-rex t-shirt or summer dress, it's most likely still hanging around Earth today slowly breaking down in a landfill all the while leaching potentially harmful chemicals into ground waters. 
Worrying right?!

So what do we do?

Check the labels. What is it made of and where is it manufactured?

It's as simple as that!

By choosing natural materials, you are choosing sustainable and renewable options that are not only breathable and hypo allergenic, but far better for the environment both in the short and long term.