We believe the benefits of natural fiber sportswear greatly outweigh the benefits of synthetic sportswear when you factor in the health of our planet when making your buying decision. Drum Sportswear was started to provide athletes with earth-friendly, performance-minded alternatives to the plasticwear being marketed so heavily today.
Below is one of the main issues with polyester sportswear that is affecting our oceans.
There is an increasingly serious form of pollution that is affecting our ocean: tiny fibers, which often originate from synthetic textiles (such as polyester, nylon, or acrylic) are showing up in the ocean in the form of microplastics.
The National Ocean Service defines them as "small plastic pieces less than five millimeters long which can be harmful to our ocean and aquatic life."
Patagonia, one of the world’s greatest companies, has provided the following key learning points from an in depth study they commissioned.
- Microfibers found in our oceans can originate from a wide variety of textiles (such as nylon, polyester, rayon, acrylic or spandex)—everything from running shorts to yoga pants to fleece jackets and more—which shows the need for engagement on this issue by the entire apparel industry and through all steps in the product life cycle.
- Apparel products are not the only source of microplastic particles that are entering the oceans. Other industries are also contributing to this problem, as are things like fishing nets, bottle caps, packaging and plastics bags that break down in the ocean. A key research priority moving forward is to quantify the magnitude of the contribution of the various sources of microplastics to oceans.
- Garments of a higher quality shed less in the wash than low-quality synthetic products, illustrating the importance for manufacturers and consumers alike to invest in gear built to last.
- Our washing machines represent an integral step in the path to pollution—so we’ve centered our testing on common appliances found in many homes. And wastewater treatment plants filter a good amount of microfibers (65–92 percent) but still release a significant volume of waste into the environment. So we plan to bring our findings to the appliance industry and waste operators as well.
Synthetic textiles are made in a factory and are basically spun plastic. Widely used for their durability and versatility, synthetic textiles are found in everything from T-shirts to tablecloths.
The problem is, the plastic fibers used to make these textiles do not fully break down. Plastic does not decompose or rot, and the tiny particles are too small to filter out, which is why we are now seeing tiny plastic microfibers in the ocean and on beaches where it has the opportunity to do a lot of harm.
The National Park Service and Clemson University’s Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science conducted a two-year research project to assess the abundance of microplastics and micro debris on beaches in 35 National Parks, Monuments, Recreation Areas, and Seashores on the ocean and Great Lakes. Check that out here.
This is one of the many reasons why we create products that use natural fibers.
Not only do you get higher quality and natural breathability, but you're also helping our oceans!