Sewing, whether it's at home as a hobby or in the manufacturing of finished products, can have several key environmental impacts on the oceans.
- Dyeing processes
- Pesticide Use in natural fibres
- Microfibre release into water systems
- Heavy metals content
Whilst most printed fabrics undergo a dyeing process that inevitably uses large amounts of water, selecting fabrics which use low impact dyes can vastly reduce the level of water used. This in turn can reduce levels of waste water.
Organic cotton dramatically reduces the use of chemicals in pesticides which inevitably leach their way into water systems and ultimately the sea.
Microfibres can migrate from man-made fabrics during the washing process and ultimately find their way into the ecosystems within oceans ... [more]. The problem is particularly problematic with fleece fibres.
Heavy metals can be present in traditionally produced fabrics as a residual from the manufacturing process. Oeko-Tex Standard 100 is an internationally recognised certification for limiting the content of heavy metals to safe levels.
Packaging won't go away anytime soon because it's an important part of keeping goods in great shape until they reach the user but using it just once ... that just doesn't make sense. We always re-use polythene that fabric is packaged in and if we can't we send it here
If you're looking to reduce your sewing-impact on the oceans then look for products that use LOW IMPACT DYES and meet the following standards: