Fashion is a vibrant industry that employs hundreds of millions, generates significant revenues, and touches almost everyone, everywhere. Since the 20th century, clothing has increasingly been considered as disposable, and the industry has become highly globalised, with garments often designed in one country, manufactured in another, and then sold worldwide at an ever-increasing pace.
It’s no secret that we need to start to shop more sustainably. Unfortunately we've waited until it's almost too late to realise the impact we are having on the environment.
Plastics have been absolutely instrumental in building the societies we live in today, but have you ever wondered what happens to the plastics we throw out?
What’s happening with plastics?
How did we get ourselves into a position where there is almost more plastic in our oceans than fish?
For one, there’s no denying the importance of plastics in our lives. It’s the aftermath of plastics that we have yet to fully comprehend, well, simply because we’re not putting in as much effort as we’d like to.
We all know we need to shop more sustainably, but when it comes to swimwear it's even more crucial. There are two main issues with swimwear. Firstly, swimsuits are made out of synthetic materials such as Polyeurethane (a mixture of Lycra, Spandex or Elastane), the creation of which has a harmful impact on dwindling natural resources.
Swimwear is usually made from petroleum oil-based synthetic materials which is problematic for several reasons, including the fact that oil is a rapidly depleting natural resource, which can cause environmental pollution during extraction and fibre production and it also does not biodegrade at the end of its life!
Plastics are some of the most difficult products to degrade. A plastic bag may take anywhere from to a thousand years before signs of degradation appear. All this will depend on the thickness of the plastic. A plastic bottle will take anywhere from 450 years.
How does plastic affect the ocean?
I will tell you now, quite severely. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), over five million tonnes of plastics make their way into the ocean each and every year. This is a terrible amount, seeing as over 85% of the foreign debris found in the ocean is plastics.
And this has severely affected more than 700 aquatic species. When it comes down to cases where all, 100%, of all turtles have mistaken plastics for food, and 60% of birds have also fallen for the same trick, then yes, that is quite a severe problem that needs to be dealt with immediately.
In cases like the one above, the plastic can holder ended up entangling the turtle. Since it does not degrade easily, that meant that the turtle will be deformed as it grew. What would it be like if you went swimming with turtles off your nearest beach and you were met by such scenes?
Why should businesses make sustainability a priority?
While ultimately benefiting from plastics, businesses have also played a large part in proliferating the use of plastics. A good percentage of these plastics will end up getting thrown out onto the street, or blown off garbage collection trucks where they will be washed away into the ocean. However, slowly, businesses are becoming more aware of the problem and are taking action on these issues.
Large companies are the leading cause for the huge amount of plastic going into our oceans, and without them coming onboard it makes it extremely difficult to change. They also take a long time to set change in motion. This is where you can make a difference. Purchase from a small business who supports environmental change. Assist those businesses to grow, and provide a platform to lead sustainable change.
By purchasing Charlie Mae's recycled swimwear, you are contributing to the vision and ambitions of a more circular environment. Using the inventive recycled material reduces the garment's carbon footprint by up to 80 per cent, and has the potential to be recycled infinitely.
What Is Sustainable Swimwear
The most common materials used to make swimwear are nylon and polyester, and guess what? These are plastics. Instead of buying 100% new plastics for your swimwear, why not go for ethical swimwear that utilises recycled ocean plastics to make them?
Our brand Charlie Mae, an online swimwear boutique enables us to reach as many people as possible, but also be at the forefront of providing environmentally conscious swimwear with the opportunity to educate people about the importance of sustainability.
We use a very innovative raw material to give you some of the best swimwear that sustainable Australian Bikini brands have put out to the market. This raw material, known as Vita PL, is a material that is 80 percent recycled polyester, and the remaining from recycled Elastane, to give the swimwear its stretchy feel.
At Charlie Mae swimwear, we have the sustainability of our environment in mind. Join us to find out more on how you can change the environment around you and live a more sustainable life.