The lovely synthetic

I slept on my studio floor last night as it got to the wee hours of the morning and I couldn’t face cycling home. Luckily my studio is filled with materials to make up a bed. Unfortunately material, I’ve discovered, is not as comfortable to sleep on as you might think.

I’ve been up, got coffee from Three Bags Full and made myself toast. I’m now working on CAD drawings of my designs and being infront of the computer has, again, distracted me.

I wanted to quickly clear something up in relation to my previous writings on nylon.

I actually don’t have a problem with synthetic fabrics.

This may sound extremely strange to most people after reading my previous posts, so I will explain:

It is not that nylon is an unenvironmentally friendly fabric. Looking at Kevin McCloud’s quote again, “There is no such thing as an eco-home, just as there is no such thing as an eco-car. It’s our use of these things that determines not how environmentally friendly they are but how environmentally friendly we are.”

This is very true. Our use and our processing of synthetics are what is the problem. Eventually I think that polyester could become the best fabric to use.

Why?

Because there are billions of tonnes of plastic floating around in our seas and we simply have to do something with them.

Polyester is able to be recycled into fabric and then recycled again into more fabric. The Japanese company Teijin is already doing this and I am looking into sourcing the fabrics.

Polyester is also very versitile in terms of the types of fabrics that can be made out of it – heavy, chiffon, velvet, knitted. It is fast drying, technology is increasing the breathability of it, and it doesn’t crease easily so ironing is unneccessary.

Caring for your clothes amounts to 60-80% of the total environmental impact of your clothing. Polyester needs less care. It’s a great product. The problem with polyester currently is that it is a badly used man-made product.

Let’s call it a technical product.

Technical products are in our lives and we cannot practically remove them. Processed correctly (with the waste captured and used) they are sometimes more environmentally friendly than natural products as naturals use a lot of land and water.

What it comes down to is that technical products can’t be absorbed into our natural environment. We must keep them separate and make sure our technical products stay in the technical cycle. (This includes the technical waste that comes through the production)

Imagine the possibilities of a car that, once you are done with it, you can hand it back to the manufacturer. The manufacturer then puts it through an extremely hot wash and the paint comes off. The paint is then recaptured from the water. The steel is taken apart and repurified using biomass. The interiors are all recycled and a new car, a new style, the latest model, is able to be sold back to you.

No waste.

Same with your TV, your computer, your kettle.

No more guilt of having a new item. Your life has not less luxurious, but it has, without you changing a thing, become more sustainable.

So I would love to take all the Cola bottles from the sea and make them into clothes but, just right now, the system is not quite there for me. Big companies are really the ones that control this.

I am therefore working on a different approach.

There is biodegradability, gardening, recycling and social work involved.

Excited? I will be once I finally get these first patterns out of the way.

Full explanation soon…

For further reading: Cradle to Cradle: Remaking The Way We Make Things. Braungart & McDonough.

I got mine at Brunswick Bound on Sydney Road.

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