What are Microplastics?
Microplastics are small plastic pieces less than 5 millimeters long that are not biodegradable. The small pieces result from weathering of bigger plastics pieces in the environment (secondary Microplastics). In addition, there are primary Microplastics which are already released in small pieces into the environment (from cosmetics etc.).
As we use plastics in all areas of our daily life these particles end up in the oceans, inland waters or soils and cause harms. Today we cannot estimate at all how serious they are. It is recognized that the consumption of Microplastics may lead to inflammation, poisoning, internal injuries or even to death. Furthermore, Microplastics can change soil structure and therefore ecosystems of living beings which contribute to soil fertility. In addition Microplastics act as magnets for pollutants, for example pesticides can attach to the particles.
Humans absorb Microplastics in different ways. Next to absorbing through the skin or inhalation particles can reach human organisms through drinking water or consummation of fish/seafood. Health consequences reach from cancer or diabetes over neurological diseases to developmental or reproduction disorders.
What has it to do with Siebenblau?
At the moment everyone is talking about Microplastics in cosmetics and prohibiting plastic bags to reduce plastics in oceans. What many people aren’t aware of: Textiles are responsible for around 35% of the entire amount of Microplastics in our oceans. This concerns synthetic textiles which contain for example spandex or polyester. Around 70 % of all fibers that are produced every year globally are synthetic fibers; textile industry makes up 15 % of the global plastic production.
Due to abrasion while wearing the clothes and especially due to washing of the clothes Microplastics gets into our ecosystems. Washing one fleece jacket made from synthetic material once causes up to 250000 particles. Textiles which enter our oceans as waste sink lower than other plastic waste and therefore pose a higher risk for marine life in deeper layers.
At Siebenblau we renounce from using synthetic fabrics and shifted our whole range gradually within the last months.
We found great alternative products made of 100 % cotton for our jersey, sweat and cord fabrics with spandex. Nevertheless, these fabrics show elasticity. Up to now we haven’t found alternative fabrics to replace our cuff fabrics. But there is a wide range of tricks and possibilities to replace cuffs. You can find more information on our instagram channel:
Of course in our shop in Berlin everything is free from plastics. Your orders are dealt free from plastics for the whole process from receipt of the order to packaging and shipment. It starts with our office materials and ends with the tape we use for packaging. Furthermore, in our shop we do not produce textile waste. We sell leftovers in our shop or only at a reduced rate; smaller pieces are manufactured into swatches. Everything left will be used as filling for the next sewing projects.