Polyester is called PET which is plastic molded into filaments that are woven into fabric. To produce, It uses vast amounts of fossil fuels and carcinogens like coal & petroleum. Not only does it pollute the environment throughout the production phase, but it continues to pollute after our society is done with by not being able to be recycled. Polyester made up 52% of global fiber production in 2018, at 55 million meters produced annually, according to a presentation by Oerlikon at ITMA 2019 (cited in Textile Exchange’s 2019 Preferred Fiber and Materials Report).
“More than 90% of that cotton is now genetically modified, using vast amounts of water as well as chemicals. Cotton production is now responsible for 18% of worldwide pesticide use and 25% of total insecticide use.” Runoff of pesticides, fertilizers, and minerals from cotton fields contaminates rivers, lakes, wetlands, and underground aquifers. These pollutants affect biodiversity directly by immediate toxicity or indirectly through long-term accumulation. Despite the global area devoted to cotton cultivation remaining constant for the past 70 years, cotton production has depleted and degraded the soil in many areas.
Organic Cotton is one of the most natural fabrics, it uses 62% less energy and 88% less water than conventional cotton. Organic Cotton is grown without pesticides and synthetic fertilizers and processed without chemicals. There are many certificates to ensure proper growing, manufacturing, and harvesting. One of those is The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) Certified, at Atomic Sierra we pride in using GOTS Certified Non-GMO Organic Cotton that is good for our planet.
Methane is at least 20 times as strong a greenhouse gas as CO2 and the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that livestock are responsible for about 14.5 per cent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. Many materials such as leather need large amounts of methane, contributing to a problem worst than our worlds livestock.
Looking at the fabrics of our clothing items needs to become routine, if we don't do the research we will never be able to understand why climate change is happening and how we can fix it.