I've read a billion blog posts about sustainable fibers but never seem to retain the info other than:
- synthetic fibers = bad
- natural fibers = good
- except cotton, which = bad,
- unless it's organic, which = good
- and except animal ones because I don't play that because I don't agree with the commodification of animals even though a lot of sustainable textile guides either don't take that into account or are okay with the commodification of animals to some extent
Today I ran into another blog post about this, a good refresher, from Eco Warrior Princess -- you can read it here. Tortoise & Lady Gray has many blog posts about this as well, in addition to a $9 downloadable resource. Fabric choice is one of those things I have to remind myself to think about -- over and over and over again. And how does that fit into what I buy?
I'm still trying to focus only on secondhand. I have so much already and working with a very limited wardrobe for Project 333 has left at least 50% of my closet underutilized -- and unmissed. Why buy more? I try to only buy apparel when it's sitting in a secondhand store, waiting for someone to come along who is the right fit. And in that case, I buy any textile as long as it's not animal skin or hair.
outside a Goodwill after buying
a perfect-fit 100% cotton striped shirt
Buying synthetic fabrics, even secondhand, is also a bit of a toss-up on the "less harm" scale. When laundered, synthetic fibers end up in our water. I haven't purchased a Guppy yet. (To be honest I'm like, can I just launder synthetics in a pillowcase and it would do the same thing?) So by pulling a synthetic shirt or whatevs out of the waste stream, I'll end up laundering it and microfibers will likely end up in our water. I could try to launder it less than every wear but that doesn't eliminate washing entirely, obviously.
Is using a secondhand synthetic garment and laundering it better or worse than it going right into a landfill? Right now I'm leaning towards...better? Using the garment is better? Washing the secondhand synthetic garment in a Guppy bag is better? I'm not trying to be a Valley Girl but ending my sentences with a question. I really don't know.