The Long Form - The topic this week
Buying clothing is difficult enough with the vast differences in sizes between brands, the pressure to be a certain body type, and finding your own style. The addition of a sea of sustainability promises that we have to decode and fact-check makes us ready to just join a cannabis-friendly nudist colony and be done with it.
We have more choices than ever before, but it feels overwhelming. The world of fashion is our oyster with almost unlimited access to brands across the globe at our fingertips. The exciting thing about the tech explosion of the last decade is that in addition to greater access and information, there is faster idea generation and experimentation. We’re going to wade through the latest ideas and fashions in sustainable clothing with you, and we’d love to hear your thoughts!
Playing with concepts and producing new materials is becoming more feasible and fruitful as we prioritize greener solutions. We’re excited about the raw waste materials that are being repurposed, along with the changes in hemp laws that we hope will further de-stigmatize cannabis. We’re excited about fairness and freedom of personal style - from materials to motifs.
My mum taught me to buy cotton clothing - for comfort, function, and durability. I still have a hard time buying synthetic fabrics like polyester and rayon, but on our quest to learn more about eco-friendly fabrics, I’m going to set those feels aside and find us the best information.
After all, there have been many evolutions in synthetic materials since your (dad’s) 70s Disco suit. Instead of using petroleum, we can now make that polyester out of recycled single use ocean plastics, like drink bottles and fishing nets. Polyester requires less water than cotton to manufacture a garment.
Here’s the catch… it turns out polyester garments are also a contributor to our micro-plastics problem. When you wash your clothing, small plastic fibres break off and enter the water system. Also, the garments themselves are not recyclable, which means that suit is still somewhere near the bottom of your home town’s garbage dump.
Looking a little further in to technology in fashion, the business of alternative materials is booming. Realistically, it’s easier to make better materials widely available than to shift the consumption behavior of 7 billion people. Super cool new raw and waste materials like mushrooms; pineapple leaves; our namesake, Milkweed; and your friend, hemp are changing the name of the game.