Save the Ocean: Wear Natural Fibers

Synthetic fibers in your laundry may be polluting the water stream.

Personally, I’ve always thought I was doing a good thing in my clothing purchases, from both a social and an environmental perspective. I mean, when I was growing up and became aware of things like slave labor, or pollutants that were produced in the manufacturing of clothing, I kind of felt overwhelmed and at a loss on how to help. Was I supposed to research every clothing manufacturer on the face of the planet before purchasing their products? That seemed like an awful lot of work, and the cost of purchasing from companies that were demonstrated to be ethical is frequently financially out of my reach. Especially when I was a teenage girl clothes shopping on an allowance.

So, I came up with a solution. Instead of obsessing over where my clothes came from and keeping track of everyone I was supposed to boycott, I simply shopped at thrift stores. Besides getting a large amount of clothing for my money, I also didn’t have to worry about giving my “voting dollars” to sweat shops or unethical environmental practices. Instead, I was giving my money to a charity of my choice. Plus, I was reusing. Happy hippie all around.

So now I’m hearing that I need to be more careful about what I choose at those thrift stores. I never really worried about synthetics, as my reusing them was keeping them out of landfills and preventing more from being manufactured. Unfortunately, careful and ethical decision was still leaking plastic wastes into the ocean. So, I’ll be checking those labels for more than sizes from now on.

Thankfully, thrift stores do indeed have a surprising variety of natural fibers. I’ve found quite a selection of treasures, ranging from pure silk business shirts to cashmere knit cardigans. My current favorite is a knit silk tank top, in a nice light brown with pure silk yarn. It doesn’t fit, but I can’t wait to make it into a teddy bear, one of these days.

Ahh yes. I was going to take my change from household goods down there this month, to look for sheets to put under the birdie play areas and for some sewing projects. Thanks for reminding me :).