Already, the ocean is filled with around 165 million tonnes of plastic and by 2050, the oceans could have more plastic than fish.
So what can we do?
It is so easy to feel helpless when it comes to making a change, and our actions can feel small and sometimes insignificant, but even our tiny actions greatly influence those around us and can encourage others to make a change too. Wherever possible, try to set a great example for your loved ones, friends and family, your colleagues and even those we don't know who may see our actions as they pass us by. Seeing others using reusable coffee cups or refusing plastic straws may just inspire others to do the same.Every time you make a purchase you are voting with your wallet, supporting companies who are either making a change or who are contributing to the problem. And you don't have to shop big budget brands to make a difference; if you do decide to shop fast fashion, the items you choose to buy have a huge impact also. Increasingly our clothes are being manufactured from synthetic plastic fibres and simply washing these garments can pollute the oceans.
A new report by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers has revealed that 35% of micro-plastics released into the world’s oceans are from synthetic textiles
Choosing natural fabric bases will radically change your (and your family's) impact on the planet no matter where you choose to shop. Where possible stay away from polyester, lycra, nylon and acrylic.
If you do purchase synthetic clothing, try using a washing bag with a micro-plastic filter– this may sound technical, but these mesh bags are actually very simple in design and are super easy to use, capturing the micro fibres from your clothing which would otherwise be washed out into our water system and eventually the ocean - even a single clothes wash can release up to 700,000 micro-plastic fibres into the environment.
At East are working hard to minimise and even eliminate the plastic and micro-plastics produced through our garments. In addition to using only natural fabric bases, we are using organic cotton for all garment labelling (back neck, composition & care labels etc.). These labels are normally made out of synthetic materials, and shed micro-plastics into the water with every wash.
Replacing single-use plastic bags from our garment packaging is something we are really proud of in the studio. Sending every order in a reusable organic cotton bag is better for the garment, better for you and better for the environment, plus a reusable bag for you!
We have saved over 7,000 plastic film bags from garment packaging since June.
We also don’t use plastic in any of our postal packaging: it is all made from recycled paper/card certified by the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council). So we can guarantee no part of your East order will end up in the ocean!
Our team is passionate about trying to eliminate as much plastic as we can from our range and we each continue our personal journeys to live more sustainably and as plastic free as possible. We are by no means perfect, improvement truly is a journey and we must be as kind as possible to each other as we all grow.
Below are some of our top plastic free & sustainable living tips:
- Use reusable coffee cups and water bottles wherever possible - most places will now refill your bottle on request, and if you don't like the taste of tap water, throw in some sliced lemon or cucumber to liven up your drink!
- Buy bottled drinks in glass rather than plastic if you find you’re out without a re-useable bottle.
- Try solid shampoo bars, or shampoo/conditioner refills from your hairdresser (we reuse our old bottles refilling them at our local package free shop)
- Say no to the plastic straw - paper all the way
- Reusable shopping bags – there’s always at least one fabric tote bag in our bags!
- Replace face wipes and home cleaning wipes (which are mainly made from plastic) with reuseable cloths or sponges.
- Package-free groceries shopping – take your own containers/jars to minimise on plastic and also save your pennies with the freedom to only purchase what you need.
- Brown paper bags for your fruit and veg instead of the plastic ones at the supermarket- they’re compostable and readily available
- Use paper cotton buds rather than plastic
- try using a clothes washing bag with a micro-plastic filter
- Buy clothing made from cotton, linen, viscose, wool & silk, while avoiding fabrics such as polyester, rayon, spandex and acrylic.
- Get involved with beach clean ups – even picking up a few bits of litter on a Sunday beach stroll can help to reduce plastic waste in the ocean
- Pick up a few bits of litter in your local park or street as you pass by and recycle where possible.
- Demand more from brands you like - write to them, email them, send them a message on your favourite social media platform, just let them know you expect better.
- Applaud brands and people who are doing good for change.
- Support others on their journey and try not to judge those who may not have made the same changes as you yet. We are all learning.
We’re always looking for new ways to live more sustainably and we’d love to hear your tips and tricks on how you make a change and cut down on plastics. Let’s work together towards a plastic-free future!
Please leave any tips in the comments below.
Team East x