Hidden Plastic in Our Wardrobes: A Call for Sustainable Fashion
February 13, 2024 – The unassuming clothing items draped in our closets may harbor a secret that’s far from eco-friendly. Polyester and nylon, two common plastic materials, dominate the global clothing production scene. My journey today takes me to Chic & Cheap, a local shop championing the fight against plastic in fashion through its newly opened sewing workshop.
Unraveling the Prevalence of Plastic
A staggering 60% of all garments produced today contain polyester, while nylon accounts for a significant portion of the remaining 40%. But it’s not just the fabric that’s the problem. Threads, buttons, zippers, padding, and insulation are all potential culprits hiding plastic in plain sight.
Émilie Béguin, a sewing technician and the force behind Chic & Cheap’s sewing workshop, shares her insights: “Material sourcing is crucial. Consumers must be aware of what their clothes are made of and how they’re produced.“
Stitching Sustainability: The Chic & Cheap Workshop
Béguin’s workshop breathes new life into old and unused garments. From hemming pants to transforming them into skirts, she offers alterations and customizations tailored to her clients’ tastes.
“I listen to my clients’ needs and adapt their clothes to fit their style,” she explains, emphasizing her commitment to combining work with passion while contributing to the circular economy.
Reducing Textile Waste: Tips for Consumers
As consumers, we can minimize the harm caused by plastic in our wardrobes. Here are some tips from Béguin:
- Opt for natural fibers: Choose clothes made from organic cotton, linen, hemp, or silk.
- Check labels: Be aware of the materials in your clothes and avoid those containing polyester or nylon.
- Repair and repurpose: Extend the lifespan of your garments by repairing them or transforming them into new pieces.
Béguin’s sewing workshop at Chic & Cheap is a testament to the growing trend of second-hand and sustainable fashion. By promoting the reuse and repurposing of clothing, she encourages consumers to take a step towards a more sustainable and ethical fashion industry.
As I leave the workshop, I can’t help but feel inspired by Béguin’s dedication to stitching sustainability into the fabric of our lives. It’s a reminder that every stitch counts in the grand tapestry of our planet’s future.