Cotton vs. Polyster
Cotton Vs Polyster
Polyester made up 52% of global fiber production in 2018, at 55 million metric tons produced annually, according to a presentation by Oerlikon at ITMA 2019 (cited in Textile Exchange’s 2019 Preferred Fiber and Materials Report).
Brands have gravitated toward polyester because it’s often a more affordable and easier textile to get ahold of than natural fibers.
polyester has been enabling the overproduction of fashion, in fact. Before polyester was discovered in the 1940s, our textile production was limited by the amount of land devoted to growing cotton and linen, or raising sheep and silkworms. Being able to produce polyester in a factory decoupled production from land area. According to McKinsey, between 2000 and 2014, global clothing production doubled. Not coincidentally, 2002 is when demand for polyester surpassed cotton. Most of that increased fashion production has been made possible by polyester.
Polyester can’t be recycled
Nearly 70 million barrels of oil are used each year to make the world's use of polyester, and oil is a non-renewable resource. Once it's gone, it's gone. Polyester garments also take more than 200 years to break down, but they never decompose; tiny plastic particles exist forever.
Polyester is not biodegradable, and can shed toxic microfibers.
While cotton, wool, and silk will completely biodegrade within a few months to a few years, as a plastic, polyester will take hundreds of years to completely biodegrade. Before that happens, however, it will degrade into little microfibers. These microfibers slough off certain types of clothes into the air when we are wearing them, and flow into our waterways from our washing machines. Recent research estimates that globally, “176,500 metric tons of synthetic microfibers — chiefly polyester and nylon — are released every year.”
And we’re eating, breathing, and drinking them. It’s estimated we ingest a credit card’s worth of microplastic every week. This is dangerous for us and aquatic life, because these microfibers can attract carcinogenic toxins. These are carried into our bodies through the ingestion of microfibers, which can then lodge in our gut.
Cotton is renewable, biodegradable and breathable, but it's also one of the most water-dependent and pesticide-dependent crops to farm. Cotton is a much better alternative to polyester.
At Dreamwand, we only use 100% premium cotton for all our bedding products, this is expensive for us to do so but we want to make the right choice for you.