The morning struggle is real
"I am not going to put on clothes! Everything itches."
"We are going to be late. Please hurry!", I responded in my mom voice.
"I don't care! I'll go naked."
Does this sound familiar to you? Our mornings were chaos and most of the time I lost! My son had just started kindergarten and was determined to go commando. I was concerned about what everyone else would think. He had twenty pairs of underwear in his drawer, but nothing was good enough for him. It was time to figure this out once and for all! I was equally determined to find a way to send him to school wearing underwear. I thought about it. "It has to be the tags!" So, we bought tag-less underwear. No luck. The tag-less undies quickly joined the other unusable pairs. My son's drawer was now overflowing with useless pairs of underwear. The minimalist in me was starting to feel overwhelmed. But I kept thinking. I dug deeper. Aha! All of the underwear, including the so called "super soft" pairs, contained polyester.
The hard truth about polyester
"What is polyester?", I thought to myself. Well, as it turns out, polyester is essentially plastic. That's right. Polyester is a synthetic plastic-based fabric manufactured from petroleum. Yes, oil. While it is often sought by clothing producers because it is inexpensive, lightweight, wrinkle resistant, and quick drying, it is one of the most harmful substances you can wear.
Did you know that synthetic fabrics like polyester are more likely to cause skin irritation than those made from natural sources? Even though polyester is marketed as "quick drying", it makes you sweat more as you wear it, leading to uncomfortable rashes.
Did you know that over 70 million barrels of oil are used every year to make polyester? This generates over 30 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions. As if you weren't hot enough wearing the clothes to begin with, now the emissions from producing them can help warm your world even more!
Did you know that polyester is not biodegradable? Yep. Once we make, use, and discard polyester, it never goes away. Never. Shocking isn't it?
Did you know that synthetic fibers like polyester are the second leading cause of microplastic pollution in our oceans? Each time you wash a garment containing polyester it releases plastic fibers down the drain and into our ecosystem. This means that even garments containing recycled polyester are harming our environment.
What does this mean for my child's skin?
Let's get this straight - polyester is made of plastic, makes my kid sweat, irritates his skin, and is terrible for the planet all at the same time? No wonder my son refused to wear his polyester-laden clothing! I don't blame him for not wanting to be "shrink wrapped" on a daily basis. It made me think further, "why am I wearing this stuff too?!"
It's no secret that I have tremendous disdain for polyester. After all, it's horrendous plastic properties caused my son much discomfort. The mama bear in me can't let that go. But, I guess I also have polyester to thank as a primary source of motivation for founding Crann Apparel. I wanted to find a solution to the "polyester problem" in our family, and it turns out it was rather simple. Basic clothes. No polyester. Minimal use of synthetic fabric. It gives me great joy to see my son happily wearing (and raving about) his "mommy underwear", and peace of mind knowing our mornings are no longer filled with clothing-driven stress.
Stop the itch and the impact
So the next time you spot that cute looking pair of polyester workout leggings or feel the buttery smoothness of that ultra soft polyester tri-blend top, ask yourself, "Can I make a better choice?" Your body, your home planet, and perhaps even your family will thank you for passing on polyester.