We’re in a fashion crisis: everything is made of polyester. And consequently, everything is awful.
Polyester is a terrible fabric that has ruined fashion. Many designers and manufacturers have chosen to use polyester because it’s cheap. However, while it saves on margins, it sucks for consumers.
The high price of fast fashion
“Fast Fashion” refers to clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers to keep up with the latest trends. You might think there’s only four seasons per year, but many fast fashion brands are producing for 12 to 26 seasons per year.
Fast fashion clothing is meant to be disposed of after a few wears, and it’s made accordingly. Expect to find poor design, even worse stitching, and of course, the cheapest fabrics available.
Polyester is the cheapest fabric on the market, and therefore dominates the space of disposable clothing. The problem is, however, when you throw out pieces from your fast fashion wardrobe, they don’t actually disappear. They sit in a landfill.
How to curb your shopping by avoiding polyester
I browse my favorite stores online all the time. It’s especially easy if they have apps where I can just flick through gorgeous dresses to kill time while waiting for the bus or in line at the grocery store. I’d probably be racking up $300 clothing shopping bills every day if it wasn’t for one simple tactic:
I don’t buy clothing made of polyester.
My hatred of polyester has been a long time coming. However, it’s only recently that I have been able to commit to vanquishing it from my life entirely.
It started out innocently enough. A brand new dress I bought felt incredibly hot and uncomfortable whenever I wore it in the summer. What’s it made of? 100% polyester.
I wishfully believed it was just that dress. But as soon as I started paying attention to how my clothes felt and less on how they looked. I noticed a pattern.
Wearing polyester feels about the same as going about your day in a stinky plastic bag
Polyester is uncomfortable and hot. Because it’s essentially a plastic, wearing it on a hot day means your sweat gets trapped between the fabric and your skin, making you hotter.
Unlike natural fabrics like cotton or wool that wick moisture away from the skin to keep you dry, polyester will leave you damp. Or even dripping with sweat.
Polyester holds odors
To add insult to injury, it also holds odors. If you dare sweat in a polyester piece, it’s essentially ruined. Aside from B.O., it will also hold scents from perfume, deodorant. Any other kind of smell from cigarette smoke to pets will also become embedded in the fabric.
There’s no delightful clean scent post laundry to cancel the nasty smells out, either. Polyester seems to selectively hold on to all the bad smells of its lifetime in its threads.
Now whenever I see an adorable dress with a 100%-polyester tag my first thoughts are: “I would be miserable wearing that on any summer day”. Because I would!
Even if it feels like silk, it’s actually polyester
I’ve been tricked once or twice. A soft, slinky shirt from Aritzia that I thought was silk was actually just a really fine polyester blend. I was almost fooled by the $100 price tag, but apparently charging a premium for this cheap fabric is par for the course now!
Polyester is tricky like that: it makes you think it’s something it’s not. It is not something you want to put on your body. Resist or pay the price of misery later!
What is made of Polyester? Nearly everything.
Now when I do any shopping online or otherwise, I always check the tag before I buy. If it’s more than 90% polyester, I won’t pay good money for it. Polyester is a mass market favorite because it’s cheap, easy and relatively durable… so long as the wearer isn’t standing next to an open flame or anything.
Polyester is flammable, but you’re unlikely to catch fire even if you are living dangerously. To keep polyester’s desire to ignite under wraps, our clothing is sprayed with toxic flame retardants.
Other synthetic fabrics like polyester
Polyester isn’t the only man-made fabric clothes are made of. In fact, you’re more likely than not to find polyester blended with something else. Other synthetic fabrics to be wary of but I have not yet concluded are as loathsome as polyester:
Choose natural fabrics when you add to your wardrobe
When it comes to natural fabrics, you have more choices than you might initially think. Some you might want to keep your eye out for are:
Cotton, on the other hand, is this marvelous sort of thing that keeps you cool in the heat and warm in the cold. It washes clean after every wear and emerges smelling like your laundry soap instead of your hairspray. Wool is another one of my faves, but some people are allergic so it’s not always an option.
Silk is a luxurious natural fabric, but can be expensive. Same goes for cashmere. But if you can afford to shell out for these threads, it’s worth doing so.
Good quality clothes are worth the price tag. Not only will the keep you comfortable, they fit well and will stand the test of time.
By avoiding polyester, you can curb wasting money on clothes.
If you tend to spend money on clothing and then regret it, an easy way to curb your spending might be to commit to purchasing clothing that’s made from natural fibres only.
Buying clothing that’s uncomfortable to wear is a waste of money. I know avoiding this one fabric has seriously curbed my daily ModCloth habit.
Do you have any tricks for your comfort and happiness that also boost your budget? Tell me your secrets, readers!