Flax, the plant linen is made from, has been used for thousands of years to make durable, delicate fabric.

Natural Fibers and the Case Against Microplastics

I love the velvety feel of a new microfleece blanket. But I've chosen to stock mostly natural fiber products in this store, despite the lower immediate gratification, and the increased cost. Why?

Plant fibers like linen, hemp and cotton, and animal-based fibers such as angora, alpaca, wool and silk are biodegradable, durable and can last for generations with proper care. 

I love the idea of selling products that, at the end of their life, might end up unraveled to reknit into something else, or cut into strips for a quilt or rug. Products that are biodegradable, and won't release microplastics and pollution as they break down.

You know how you clean your lint trap after drying your clothes (seriously, clean your lint trap, every time). If you are drying a lot of synthetic fabrics, like microfleece, the majority of that lint is essentially microplastics. Yes, the same microplastics that are invading our placentas, our wildlife, the snowy peaks of our highest mountains, are shed by synthetic-fiber fabrics every day.

 These fibers are cheaper, but also less durable, than plant- or animal-based fibers. And as a result, the UN estimates we are buying more clothing and textiles than we did years ago, but items are thrown away much sooner. A series of reports asks that people rethink our relationship to the fabrics in our lives, and our fashion. 

Cheap, fast-fashion clothing and home goods fall apart and often end up in landfills, unable to be re-used because of the poor quality of the material. It cannot be resold at thrift stores, recycled, upcycled or resold locally. Often, fast fashion turns to garbage and can end up incinerated, releasing toxic fumes and contaminants. 

Additionally, approximately 500,000 metric tons of synthetic fibers are released in wastewater from doing laundry, every year. And those fibers, along with particles created during the manufacturing process of synthetic fibers like spandex, rayon, polyester and acrylics, are polluting the oceans and environment with microplastics. It’s the equivalent of billions of plastic water bottles ending up discharged into the environment every day- but unlike water bottles, these particles are small enough to pass through water treatment systems, and end up in wildlife, the environment, and our bodies. 

 Our mission is to find products that feel great, look great, and enhance your life. Period. I do consider issues like microplastics and lasting value when stocking the store, so you don’t have to. If you want to know more about topics like these, check out the blog, or sign up for our email list at the bottom of the page. We will limit emails to blog updates and sale announcements. - M.

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