The textile industry is dominated by synthetic materials like polyester, nylon, rayon, or acrylic since they are less expensive and simpler to create on large scales. However, the production of these products can cause harm to our environment.
I’ve listed some of the reasons how and why synthetic products are damaging our environment.
Synthetic products are produced from petroleum which is a great risk for the environment. Plastic, which is a by-product of petroleum, is non-biodegradable, meaning these products will always end up staying in landfills. Although they will eventually break down, plastic takes hundreds of years to fully decompose.
Water is important for the survival of all living organisms here on earth, however, our resources as of today are getting more polluted each day. Synthetic products use a large amount of colorant and other harmful chemicals which only go down to the drain and to the ocean.
A lot of synthetic products contain harmful chemicals such as Polyvinyl Chloride. It can filter into the dirt while the products are perched on the landfill and pollute our fresh groundwaters.
Synthetic products such as polyester, nylon, rayon, and dye contribute to microplastic pollution. Depending on what the fabrics or chemicals are made of, it has negative impacts on our environment.
- Polyester and Nylon: These two by-products of petroleum are very harmful to the environment as they are non-biodegradable. To produce polyester, it requires much water which will then go down straight to our waterways. The production of Nylon releases a greenhouse gas 300 times more dangerous than carbon dioxide. This chemical is called nitrous oxide.
- Rayon: Made from recycled wood pulp. Clearing forests for rayon can have a negative impact on our environment. Though wood might look unharmful and non-toxic.
- Dye: One of the materials used to produce fabrics. As I have said before, dyes or colorants go down to our waterways, which only pollutes our environment.
- Acrylic: The production of acrylics is very dangerous since it is highly flammable and can sometimes lead to explosions if not monitored properly. Also, acrylics are non-biodegradable.
Synthetic products such as polymers are one of the causes of millions of deaths to seabird species every year. 44 percent of these have mistakenly consumed synthetic polymers. These deaths of shorebirds pose a threat to our environment since they play an important role in maintaining the population of fish and crustaceans.