Back in 2017, David Attenborough’s Blue Planet brought the issue of plastic to our attention and with it came the realisation, that if we don’t act now, the damage caused will be irreparable.
The notion that ‘By 2050 there could be more plastic in the sea than fish’ is a very scary reality, and drives action for the plastic revolution.
The issue being that still, the daily consumption of plastic, a non bio-degradable material, completely outweighs our ability as humans to dispose of it in a way that does not negatively impact the environment around us.
Plastic does not break down in the ocean, and can cause serious damage to wildlife. This plastic may even end up inside our own bodies.
So why is this relevant to the fashion industry…
1 million tons of textiles are thrown away every year, with 50% ending up in landfill. With a large percentage of textiles being synthetic in today's industry, that means a lot of plastic is being wasted in the form of clothes every year.
We feel that we need to address this global issue and play our part as both individuals and a business to help save our planet for future generations.
What can we do to help solve the issue as a brand within the fashion industry?
As a business we aim to re-use and take plastic out of the eco-system to produce new materials and products, we are aiming to help to reduce the amount of plastic which goes to landfill or oceans each year.
By using Recover® fabric across all of our loungewear styles, we create garments which are crafted from 100% recycled materials, using both recycled cotton and recycled polyester from plastic bottles.
6.5 Plastic bottles are recycled to produce one of our ‘Human Kind’ sweatshirts, and in total so far we have saved 5,434 from landfill and ocean.
Additionally our loungewear can also be recycled, which further helps to create a circular solution to fashion. We hope that you will wear your Riley Studio pieces for years to come, but once they are no longer wearable, we will be happy to repair or recycle it for you, to ensure it does not end up in landfill.
It is estimated that over 180 billion poly bags are produced to store, transport and protect garments every year, with less than 15% of these recycled.*
This didn't sit well with us so in 2020 we successfully eradicated plastic from our supply chain, instead using 100% compostable bags made from corn starch waste.
They contain no toxins, use 65% less energy and generate 68% fewer greenhouse gases and the best part, can be home composted.
About 60 per cent of material made into clothing is plastic, which includes polyester, acrylic and nylon textiles. These synthetic fabrics are lightweight, durable, affordable and flexible.
But here’s the catch: every time they're washed, they shed tiny plastic fibres called microfibres, a form of microplastics—tiny pieces up to five millimetres in size.
As individuals, here are some changes we can make each day to minimise our plastic impact;
Since the outbreak of Covid-19, demand for single use face masks has skyrocketed. According to the Environment, Science & Technology Journal, approximately 129 billion face masks are being used each month. The effects of this surge in demand were reported by Oceans Asia in Hong Kong, where over 100 masks were found on the shoreline.
We urge everyone to buy reusable, washable and sustainable face masks to protect our environment whilst protecting ourselves!
5. Questions to ask before making a purchase decision.
- Can this item or packaging be reused?
- Can I up-cycle it into something else after I’m finished?
- Can I elongate it’s lifespan by repairing if it breaks?
- Is this a single use item and if yes, can I find a planet friendly version?
UNEP, Ellen MacArther Foundation, Business Insider, Reuters