Since our grandparents’ generation, there has been a sharp spike in cheap, disposable clothing – or what some have dubbed “fast fashion” for its similarities to fast food. These are often cheaply produced garments, designed in accordance with a flash-in-the-pan trend and made to last only until they become unfashionable, which, sadly, seems to be a shortening season. Where there used to be four fashion seasons in a year, big fashion companies now try and churn out upwards of fifteen seasons, for the sole purpose of receiving more unique purchases, disregarding the effect it has on the environment and on spending habits.
Good quality clothing, like the merino wool t shirts we sell at Unbound Merino, have the ability to counteract the fast fashion trend, with their long-lasting durability and timeless aesthetic appeal. In this blog, we’ll outline some of the underlying problems with the fast fashion trend, and reveal how harnessing the natural, sustainable, useful properties of merino wool makes our clothes a wise consumer choice for those who prize quality over quantity.
Let’s talk about what happens after a shirt is thrown out, either because its materials started to break down or because it fell out of vogue. Even in a developed country like the USA, with sophisticated systems of waste management, a scant 15% of post-consumer textile waste is reused or recycled, the rest ending up in landfills. That’s a lot of extra trash taking its toll on the environment. At Unbound Merino, we offer even basic items like our merino wool boxers (an item of clothing not usually known for its resilience!) that have staying power, meaning less of them are bound for the landfill (and if they do make it there, they’re biodegradable).
Synthetic materials like nylon or polyester are made from petrochemicals – chemicals derived from petroleum gas – and are non-biodegradable and unsustainable. Even popular natural materials have their downsides, like cotton, which remains the most pesticide intensive crop in the world. When fast fashion companies churn out disposable clothes, they’re leaving an environmental footprint that begins long before any of the clothes even make it to the racks. With wool on the other hand, you have a naturally sustainable product that doesn’t need chemical spraying or the extraction of petroleum gas.
Let’s take it back to the beginning for a second: the story of Unbound Merino started when we saw the rise in disposable clothing, saw people paying more to rebuy cheap clothes time and again when their clothes deteriorated, and wanted to give travellers a sturdy, timelessly fashionable clothing line that would save them time and money in the long run. We still stand by the belief that it’s better to buy one long-lasting clothing item than a dozen cheap, short-lived ones. Not only is does it promote better spending habits, but it’s better for the environment.
As lovers of travel, we at Unbound Merino have a vested interest in keeping the earth happy and livable. We’re proud to offer a sustainable, natural, biodegradable, long-lasting product that doesn’t need to be put through the wash every other day (a process which, in itself, isn’t great for the earth) in order to stay clean. Quality clothing isn’t just about good looks – sure, you’ll look amazing in our clothes, and you’ll feel good too, but you’ll also be making a difference.