Art Business, conservation

My Decision to Buy Natural Fibre Clothing from Now On

All images in the blog came from Pixabay.

Like many people, I have done my best to avoid buying products in single-use plastic bags and opted for cloth bags when buying fresh produce, because of the damage to the environment and to wildlife caused by plastic bags.

Recently, nanoplastics from clothing, have been highlighted in the news. When synthetic clothing is washed, microscopic pieces, called nanoplastic, fragment from synthetic (plastic) garments and remain in the water, draining into water treatment systems and even the ocean. Synthetic (plastic) fibres are ANY fibres which not natural fibres like wool, cotton, linen, silk, etc.

Synthetic (plastic) fibres were created for several good reasons. They are not susceptible to moth damage, dry quickly, crease less (making them immensely popular with those who hate ironing), are cheap and not dependant on successful fibre crops and harvesting.

They are, however, unhealthy for humans, as they:

  • Are ‘airtight’ and prevent skin from breathing, leading to clogged pores and skin infections.
  • Create nanoplastics, through friction during washing, and while wearing the garment. Even handling or touching these fabrics in your clothing or cloths can cause microscopic particles to be inhaled, transferred to your hands, and then be ingested causing several severe health issues, including cancers. Microplastics are being found in the placentas of prebirth babies and in new-born babies.
  • Cause air, ground and water pollution through their manufacturing process.
  • Create air, ground and water pollution through their disposal.

THIS IS SERIOUS.

There are implications for wildlife and the environment, since most synthetic fibres are not recycled and are dumped in overflowing landfills.

I have decided any clothes I buy will be natural fibres, as far as possible. I live in a very cold, wet climate and I do not know if there are eco-friendly, natural windbreaker/waterproof jacket options – but I will keep my eyes open for them. Maybe we need to return to good, old-fashioned oilskins and quilted cotton jackets.

Yes, I may need to do more ironing – or I can embrace wearing creased and wrinkled clothes.

Yes, I will have to set moth traps to keep moths away from my wool wear.

Yes, I may not have as many choices, but how many pairs of trousers do I really need?

Currently I need very few clothes as I have a wardrobe full of them, and I will wear them until they perish. Only then will I selectively replace them, even if it means saving up and spending more for fewer, better quality, natural fibre garments and homeware.

Will you join me in turning away from wearing synthetic fibre clothes?

Recommended Reading:
1. https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/lifestyle/2021/07/washing-machine-filters-failing-to-stop-microplastic-pollutants-ending-up-on-kiwi-beaches.html

2. https://amberoot.com/blogs/blog/synthetic-clothes-and-the-consequences-to-our-health

3. https://www.trustedclothes.com/blog/2018/08/09/three-ethical-reasons-to-avoid-synthetic-fabrics-and-switch-to-natural-fabrics/

4. https://www.masterclass.com/articles/natural-vs-synthetic-fibers#what-are-natural-fibers

Art Business, conservation

Products and Pricing

‘Malherbe’s Parakeet’ ladies 100% cotton sweatshirt, doodlewear.

ARE MY PRODUCTS TOO EXPENSIVE?

Some people have commented that the products I sell are too expensive. Evaluation of expense is relative so what is too costly for one person is easily affordable by another. However, the last thing I want is to profiteer – and at present I am running at a loss because art involves such a huge outlay of time and cost for materials that it is almost impossible to recoup unless/until an artist becomes fashionable. To be perfectly honest, I cannot afford to buy my own products at the moment but I hope to bless those of you who can afford them. For those of you who are as cash strapped as I am, we may need to depend on big retailers instead of craftspeople.

There are practical reasons why my products cost more than those available through mass-production retailers.

My Decision to Only Sell Natural Fibre Merchandise on my Store

Since I paint endangered species, which are often affected by pollution and habitat destruction, it is ethical to ensure that my products are:

  1. Consistently raising awareness of threatened species.
  2. Created from natural fibres or products, which are not pollutive.
  3. Environmentally-friendly: producing little or no pollution during manufacturing and do not pollute when washed and finally disposed.
  4. Biodegradable.
  5. Healthy for the customer wearing or using them.
  6. Sustainable.
  7. Durable – natural fibres last longer than man-made (synthetic, plastic fibres).
  8. Where possible, are organic – just as nature intended, and not impregnated with nasty pesticides/herbicides, toxins, etc.
  9. Excellent quality, so that the merchandise is well worth the cost.
  10. Manufactured locally and/or through ethical manufacturers who do not exploit their labour force.
  11. Beautiful but useful – it is possible to create products that have both characteristics.
  12. By purchasing cotton garments, we are supporting farmers rather than fossil fuel industry.

My aim is to produce GUILT-FREE products that only positively impact customers, wildlife and the planet.

Currently, my artwork is available on a range of adult organic cotton t-shirts on my online store, Bumble-Bees Art and Crafts (https://www.bumble-beesartandcrafts.com/ ).

In a couple of weeks, organic cotton t-shirts with my artwork, will also be available from doodlewear (https://www.doodlewear.co.nz/collections/auntie-betty-illustration ).

An organic cotton & 100% cotton baby-wear and children’s t-shirt range is available on my online store, as well as 100% cotton adults sweatshirts and hoodies.

I am so impressed by the quality of these garments. All artwork printing is done in New Zealand by Digitees, using environmentally-friendly inks on ethically manufactured garments. My garments are only printed when a customer orders, so there is no waste, and Digitees ships the garments in a compostable bag to the customer, which is cheaper for the customer and better for the environment. Bumble-Bees and Digitees are both passionate about being as eco-conscious as possible.

Are you ready to start purchasing more durable, natural clothes and homeware?

Recommended Reading:
1. https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/lifestyle/2021/07/washing-machine-filters-failing-to-stop-microplastic-pollutants-ending-up-on-kiwi-beaches.html

2. https://amberoot.com/blogs/blog/synthetic-clothes-and-the-consequences-to-our-health

3. https://www.trustedclothes.com/blog/2018/08/09/three-ethical-reasons-to-avoid-synthetic-fabrics-and-switch-to-natural-fabrics/

4. https://www.masterclass.com/articles/natural-vs-synthetic-fibers#what-are-natural-fibers