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Plastic-Free July Challenge #27: Choose Natural Fabrics for Clothing 🧶

Updated: Aug 19, 2020

White cotton fabric

Natural fabrics—such as cotton, silk and wool—are made of animal or plant-based fibers, while synthetics are man-made and produced entirely from chemicals to create fabrics like polyester, rayon, acrylic, and many others. Over the years these synthetic fibers have increasingly grown in popularity.

Polyester shirts can release micro-plastics when washed

However, a major problem with man-made fibers is the fact that they do not biodegrade. A polyester shirt will remain in the same state for hundreds of years. As these fibers are petroleum-based, if left outside the chemicals in them can seep into the soil and damage local ecosystems. An additional problem to synthetic fibers is their ability to release micro-plastic when washed.

Synthetic fibers release up to thousands of tiny plastic fibers into the water supply during washing

Micro plastics are small plastic particles under 5 mm that can originate from products such as body washes or for use in manufacturing, but another major source comes from the breakdown of larger plastics and synthetic textiles – particularly when we wash our clothing. In fact, a single garment can release between 120,000-730,000 plastic microfibers in just one laundry cycle. (Oceanwise 2019 report: "Me, my clothes and the ocean")

knitting needles through a ball of white wool yarn, on top of a white wool scarf

The solution? Natural fabrics! As well as being environmentally sustainable, the majority of natural fabrics are biodegradable, moisture-wicking, breathable, durable, heat-responsive and naturally repellent to mold and dirt.


Girl wearing a white wool scarf

Today’s Challenge:

  • Take a photo of a piece of clothing that is made of cotton, silk, or wool!

  • Share a photo and tag @onepieceaday1, and use the hashtag #OPADPlasticFreeJuly to earn 1 ENTRY!

Colourful silk scarf

How can I win prizes?

Step 1: Follow @onepieceaday1

Step 2: Tag a friend! (optional)

Step 3: Share a photo (to your story OR your feed) of you completing each challenge for 1 ENTRY, tag @onepieceaday1, and use the hashtag #OPADPlasticFreeJuly.

Each day is a new opportunity to increase your chances. Your total entries will be counted at the end of the month and be entered into a draw to win a zero-waste prize pack. Be sure to stick around for more chances to win!

Questions? Drop them below!


Tomorrow switch to steel or bamboo pegs

Wooden laundry pegs

For those who dry their clothes outdoors, and who are wondering if wooden pegs are a good way to go green - it’s the perfect way. There are different types of clothespins and pegs. While the basic design is the same, the main difference lies in the material – wood or plastic. However, the most sustainable way to go green would be made of BAMBOO! Made from sustainable, biodegradable bamboo - these are quite enticing and designed to last you forever.

Steel pegs are another awesome alternative - they don’t rust, rot or go mouldy. They’re meant to be unbreakable, durable, and more reliable. Finally, they are recyclable, plastic free and zero waste.

Stay tuned tomorrow for challenge details!


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