Wellness Wednesday: material girl
Just a quick one today to point you towards an article I wrote for Peppermint magazine’s Autumn 2015 issue – “Fabric guide: polyester”. It’s one of a series of articles I’m doing for them about various textiles used for clothing, looking at how the fabric is made and its effects on planet and people.
As a lover of vintage and secondhand clothing, I do have a few polyester pieces although I rarely wear them because they don’t “breathe” the way natural fibres do and I end up all clammy. But because there was a veritable explosion of psychedelic prints when polyester became popular in the’ 60s and ’70s (and an accompanying boom in the deodorant industry too, no doubt – imagine the stink of everyone wearing polyester on a hot day!), it sometimes makes it hard to resist buying synthetic stuff from that era – there was no way I was leaving this dress* at Vinnies, for instance!
While writing the Peppermint article I found out that polyester is basically a product of crude oil and that some experts think there is a link between the increase of plastics (which are also made from petroleum) and the prevalence of breast cancer and probably other cancers too. I’m not sure if there is a definitive study anywhere (let me know if you find one) but if you prefer to err on the side of caution, you may want to avoid wearing polyester, or use it only as an outer layer. I usually wear something cotton under anything polyester so I don’t get all sweaty but also because it feels more comfortable. It will be tricky to eliminate it from my wardrobe completely though, because even if the tag doesn’t state “polyester”, it is in a lot of synthetic fabrics (polar fleece, for one), and when was the last time you saw gym and running gear made from completely natural fibres? Hmm, maybe that’s a business niche I should get into…
*Do you like the vintage floor sweeper thing I’ve worked into the shot? It comes with the house that I sometimes stay at in Sorrento and must be from the ’70s too, as I remember “helping” mum clean the house with a similar one when I was little. It was such a blast from the past to see one again!