The textile industry is the world’s highest industrial polluter to all our waters. Keep in mind that when you have chosen a fabric that has not been conservatively processed in a mill, you are adding to the pollution in our waters. When people hear the word organic, they think that it is healthy and good for the environment. Unfortunately, organic cotton is still a fabric which is 27% synthetic chemicals by weight. They are still put through a mill which returns the untreated, chemically filled waste to our oceans.
Animals that live at the bottom of the food chain, such as plankton, eat the chemicals as they feed. Since these chemicals do not breakdown, they become more concentrated in the animal’s body rather than the water or soil. The one small organism that eats the textile chemicals is the start of the food chain becoming polluted. For example, a small fish could feed on the plankton and get the textile chemicals in them but now at a high level. Animals higher up the food chain, such as seals, can have contamination levels millions of times higher than the water in which they live. And polar bears, which feed on seals, can have contamination levels up to 3 billion times higher than their environment.
People think that just because the ocean is massive that all pollutants would be diluted and dispersed to safe levels - they do not! People think that our clothes do not affect the ocean - they do! The tiny microfibers and textile chemicals are the silent but deadly killers to our food chain.
Three ways to reduce textile pollution would be: