Recycled Synthetics are not what you think they are and why?

Our Folklove journey to becoming a clothing business has so had many learning curves, stops and backflips, but all through this journey we have maintained that we are only sourcing natural fibres that are ethically and sustainably sourced, the welfare and payment of workers and the environmental cost involved.

We are on this journey to ensure our products meet ethical standards, that they offer repurposing options once worn out if they cannot be repaired, and that they are loved - Folk Loving People for a Folk Loving Planet. 

This is better for you, for us and for the planet - yes we do not have a plan B.

We see the ongoing use of synthetics as not the cheap alternative the fashion industry would have us believe, but as the expensive toxic cost to the planet.

Synthetics fabrics might be considered a cheap short term option to buy but the long run, their cost in manufacture tells a very different story- an environment, human and ecosystem trail of damage. This starts in human rights offences where the toxic fumes are inhaled in chemical processes to create synthetic fibres that feel like natural products - (ie costs are less in mass manufactured viscose in place of expensive small production natural silk), chemical contamination to workers in factories handling them, production waste runoff causing environmental and river contamination,  health risks to those in factories making them into end products and then into long term landfill in the soil after the consumer has worn the product once or twice.

Synthetics are not beneficial for the human body whose fluctuating body temperatures, whether active or not, they keep the heat close to the body instead of circulating it and releasing like natural fibres do, synthetics allow toxins to be reabsorbed by the skin, smelly perspiration and overheating. This is apparent in the school uniforms that today seem to be in every school - polyester - not very good for hormonal teens who are told to spray on more deodorant or perfume. 

From my experience, the true comfort test of wearing synthetic fabrics is to give a menopausal woman a polyester top and see how long she lasts till the hot sweats make her rip it off!

Viscose is sourced as a wood chips, an original natural product, but the processing treats this pulp which is then spun with toxic esters,  it loses its natural ability to breathe.

Bamboo is now spun with synthetics as well so its not so natural anymore and the spandex that we all love in leggings never ever breaks down, ever!

I listened to a podcast about a specialist company in Germany that recycles synthetics and even they say there is only so many times they can recycle these.

Not only that but the new polyester recycled clothing sheds micro fibres when washed all of which ends up in the oceans and into the sea animals that ingest it, that we ingest if we eat seafood. 

Synthetic concoctions do not fit with the ethics at Folklove.

Folklove is closed loop system, we offer repair and/or repurpose of our clothing throughout it's lifetime.

Synthetics create a self-contained oven of heat around the body, then perspiration starts to try to cool the body but cannot escape the synthetic fibres. Yet the sports industry and schools continue to buy into these plastic sports uniforms? Is it because we cannot teach our children and partners to iron a cotton shirt? have we become so lazy? I grew up wearing cotton uniforms that were home made alongside knitted jumpers and cardigans for winter. The kids of today know no better.

Yes, it sounds depressing and too hard to think about but in our own way we can all do something about changing the way we shop, recycle, repurpose and look after our one and only planet.

By looking at what we throw away, are we giving the problem to somebody else?

We can buy better for the long term, not the short sightedness of disposable items.

I think Covid has taught us so much in seeing how we live, where the supply and demand is and how our money is invested. 

By thinking outside of the square, we are always able to find a use, there are many craft and furniture items that can be created from synthetic waste - ottomans made of synthetic fibers rolled, bedheads, dog beds, outdoor cushions and rolls.

Start thinking about it and the possibilities are endless.

See link to Podcast: Wardrobe Crisis with Clare Press

- Series 6 Episode 151- Recycled Polyester Cyndi Rhoades

- Series 4 Episode 124- Chemicals in Fashion Supply Chains