May 3 is National Textiles Day!

May 03, 2022 2 min read

Today is National Textiles Day! Haven’t heard of this day before? Well, neither had I until recently. Textiles (aka fabrics) play such a huge role in our everyday lives. From clothing to rugs to bath towels and beyond, life would be waaaayyyy different without them.

National Textiles Day is an opportunity to educate the world about where and how fabrics are produced. Did you know it takes about 700 gallons of water to make one conventional cotton shirt? And the average American throws away 82 pounds of textile waste every year? A little overwhelming, I know. But the more you know, the more you can make conscious decisions based on the things you care about.

At PAC we almost exclusively use organic hemp and organic cotton fabrics for our aprons. Hemp is a fast growing, earth friendly crop that uses less water, requires little to no fertilizers and chemicals, and helps regenerate the soil. Organic cotton is non-GMO and is grown without chemical insecticides or synthetic fertilizers. These practices help waterways stay clean, natural habitats for plants and animals to remain intact, and an overall healthier planet.

When you are considering what fabric you might need for a specific reason, consider these things: How will it be used? Will it need to be laundered often, and if so, can it be washed and dried? Where will it be used? Is it going to be in a hot climate, cold climate? Does breathability matter? Someday, when this item can no longer be utilized, how will its end of life be? Can it break back down into a natural state?

These are questions to ponder because many of the fabrics produced in the world contain plastics (aka petroleum) that do not breath well, and do not break down, such as polyester, spandex, and nylon. Many companies have adopted the practice of using “recycled polyester” (polyester made from single use plastic water bottles) which is helpful in redirecting larger plastic away from landfills and oceans, but it still has the consequence of micro plastics entering waterways every time an item is washed.

Take the time to read the inside label on an item of clothing before you buy it. Take 5 minutes a day to learn a little more about the textile and fashion industry. There are many wonderful podcasts, blogs, and social accounts sharing a wealth of information on this topic if you would like to learn more. If you have a podcast or account you enjoy following that shares helpful information about the textile industry, please share them below!

And remember, this is not a post to make anyone feel bad or ashamed about what they buy, but encouragement to do what you can, and to make changes in the ways that make sense for you.

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