The concept of ‘fast fashion’, a trend that surfaced almost 20 years ago, is one that we (both consumers and producers) should be paying more attention to.
Polyester has emerged as a leader in garment fabrics found in retail stores all over the world, used in almost 60% of new clothing found in stores. Polyester is relatively inexpensive and versatile, but not all that glitters is gold. There are some detrimental downsides to polyester that affect the environment, as well as the consumer:
- There are approximately 21.3 million tons of polyester on retail shelves today, a 157% increase since 2000. That’s 42,600,000,000 pounds.
- Producing enough fiber for a polyester t-shirt contributes more than twice the amount of CO2 than the equivalent amount of cotton.
- Polyester decomposes at a much slower rate than cotton and other natural fibers.
- Polyester retains more odors than cotton, which means it will need to be washed