Over Million Plastic Bottles are purchased all over the world per MINUTE
– that is about 20 000 bottles per second !!
If placed in a top to tail, these bottles would reach half-way to the sun.
Wow ! Crazy numbers – and very dangerous for the health of our planet. Most of these bottles are used for bottled water, never mind cool drinks, which is sad as there so are many alternatives to drink clean water other than to buy bottled water.
– have your own re-useable bottle and fill it up, instead of buying a one-use plastic bottle to quench your thirst
– buy a water filter for your tap
– drink tap water (depends where you are ..)
Most plastic bottles are made from PET plastic, which is highly recyclable. Unfortunately due to such huge volumes of plastic bottles being produced for the consumer market, recycling efforts are falling behind.
So how wonderful that the textile industry is collecting these plastic bottles and recycling them into yarn and then weaving them into a polyester material, literally made from recycled plastic bottles, to be made into useful, lasting clothing
This is very exciting for my Artwear brand, Firehart…
The Firehart Journey so far…
Firehart was birthed from 4 digital paintings of the 4 elements.
Earth, Water, Fire and Air – inspired from these paintings I developed some more artwork and mandalas which, once the art was created, I decided to print onto clothes as wearable art, as I was bored with my wardrobe. I never planned to start a clothing range and created the art for clothing – it just happened the other way around, I created the art first and then decided to print it on clothing and other useful arty products.
So Firehart was started more so as a creative art project, then a sustainable eco project (though I have always been passionate about the environment and have put many hours into various eco projects).
So, I walked on the path (followed my creative passion) and the path appeared (the clothing range).
BUT – it was concerning me that my range wasn’t as sustainable to the planet as I would like it to be.
To produce the vibrant colour and detailed printing that I wanted, I needed to use synthetic materials as opposed to natural cottons. I did research in the beginning on the environmental impact between cotton vs synthetic fabrics, and like most things – each option does have a price to pay.
Cotton, because it is a natural fibre, people assume it is better than a synthetic fibre – but the cotton industry is responsible for huge amounts of pesticide and insecticide leaching into the natural environment, and even organically grown cotton, which eliminates the pesticides, is hugely water intensive and takes water away from some communities.
Polyester like most industries does use fossil fuels to in its production, but it is 100% recyclable, is less water intensive and lasts longer and holds its shape more than cotton.
I will write another article with more details on Cotton vs Polyester and the long term lifespan and energy usages of the clothing.
So there is no clear winner in the Polyester vs Cotton debate.
But we all need to wear clothes, while doing our best to
Reduce – Only buy quality clothes you really love and that you will wear often and that will last for a long time.
Re-use – Opt for Second Hand Clothing wherever possible to supplement your wardrobe
Recycle – Attend Clothes Swops and send your unwanted items to Charity Second Hand Shops and friends. When buying a new item that you simply won’t find in second hand shops, and that you know you will put to good use and look fantastic in for a while to come – choose local brands who’s products are made locally and who make clothing more sustainably, eg from organically grown or recycled material wherever possible.
Im also a big second-hand clothes enthusiast and more than half my wardrobe is 2nd hand and has been for years. But for 2nd hand clothes to exist today, they had to once be a brand new item that an abundant person purchased. Im envisioning timeless Firehart items brightening up second hand shops in future.
I am very excited to announce that Firehart Leggings and Firehart Vests are now made from a quality lycra made from recycled plastic bottles and other plastic collected from beaches and other natural environments.
The recycling process results in a fabric that is reliable, comfortable and durable and also embeds properties like adaptive warming and cooling, water repellency at the fiber level. Article on the process of turning plastic bottles into material to follow…
Walk on the path and the path appears..
I walked on a path (followed my creative passion) and the path appeared (Firehart Artwear Range), and that path has now merged with another path and passion of mine, (eco-awareness and sustainability) !! Exciting times… 🙂