It’s no secret that our world has a big plastic problem. One commonly referenced stat is that by 2050 there will be estimated more plastic in the ocean than fish (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2016).
Many synthetic clothing fibres, such as polyester, are plastic-based. Polyester in particular was originally designed to be infinitely recyclable, however the technology to do so wasn’t created in tandem with the creation of polyester itself.
Single-use plastic, synthetic fibres in clothing and nets from the fishing industry are causing devastating effects on the environment. Microfibers, small pieces of plastic less than 5mm in diameter, were even found in human placentas this year in a new study which were thought to have been consumed by fish, then subsequently consumed by the mother. Not exactly a light and breezy news story. It’s easy to feel helpless, frustrated or even scared about the state of plastic; these common feelings can also be referred to as climate anxiety.
Since this year’s theme for Earth Day is “Restore Our Earth”, we wanted to take this opportunity to highlight our sustainable fabrics as well as shine a light on some amazing organisations making big waves in this space (pun intended).
Our Italian fabrics are made with Econyl; the worlds’ leading sustainable nylon fibre. Econyl is a fully regenerated yarn made from discarded virgin synthetics, and designed to be fully reusable with no decrease in quality unlike many recycled products, such as recycled water bottles.
Econyl thread is then used to weave into all types of stretch fabrics, for example our Italian-sourced fabric which we use to create all of your much-loved swimsuits. Our fabric is also certified Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex; the world’s leader in testing fabrics to regulate harmful substances.
Econyl sources their raw materials from many sources, including from reclaimed ocean waste including ghost nets - unclaimed or uncollected fishing nets usually left by fishermen in commercial industries. Other sources include old carpet fluff, recovered garments through independent clothing recycling programs, and pre-consumer waste.
According to Econyl themselves, their thread reduces potential global warming impact by up to 90% when compared to the virgin material made from oil. Econyl, in partnership with Healthy Seas, has collected 510 tonnes of ocean waste since launching in 2013 (that’s equivalent in weight to four blue whales!), and 75,000kg in 2020 alone.
As well as being made from discarded ocean waste, Baiia suits are dyed in planet-friendly, water-based fabric dyes. Our water-based dyes have achieved accreditation to the Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS), OEKO-TEX® and CLEAR TO WEAR certification schemes. We use only water based inks to achieve our swimwear’s rich and vibrant colours.
You can know that our swimsuits are created for you to tread the earth lightly, cleaning waste as we go.
How can we help individually?
While it’s great to always be up to date with industry innovations in this space, we wanted to also answer a common question; what can we do to help on an individual level?
Enter Take 3 For the Sea: an Aussie charity dedicated to spreading awareness of ocean plastic and encouraging action in the community. Take 3 is a global education movement, inspiring change and pushing for a circular economy. They spend their time doing youth leadership programs, hosting community beach clean-ups and finding celebrity ambassadors and activists who help spread their mission to the world.
Take 3’s mission is simple: whenever you leave the beach, waterways, or anywhere… take 3 pieces of rubbish with you. This alone will make a difference.
As well as this global mantra mission, Take 3 works in local communities and collaborates with other charities, such as Guide Dogs Queensland to inspire change in a wide range of communities. One of their largest initiatives is their Youth Leadership and education programs, a combination of in-school and online programs for both early childhood and primary school ages; helping to raise the next generation of climate activists. They are currently also working on a new project aimed at the tourism industry; a toolkit and education course that works in partnership with Tourism NSW to tackle the problem of tourism-generated litter.
In celebration of Earth Day and our commitment to restoring the earth, we will be donating $5AUD from every purchase from April 21st until April 28th to Take 3 For The Sea.
Looking for more? Take 3 also has an online store where you can buy reusable alternatives to common single-use items such as coffee cups, cutlery and straws. After all, any little swap can make a big impact.
Tomorrow on Earth Day, the Take 3 team are also hosting a free community beach clean-up at Wamberal Beach, NSW. Find out more on their Instagram here.
To quote directly from Take 3: “Wherever we are, we are connected to the sea. The ocean provides us with the oxygen we breathe and the climate that sustains us. We need a healthy ocean for our own survival.”
To us there is nothing more important than taking care of our planet, inhabitants and paving the way for generations ahead. The team at Take 3 inspire us to participate in the simple action of picking up three pieces of waste, and remind us to be conscious of how every action can impact our world.
Don't forget to check our our Instagram highlight for Earth Day; we are shouting our out 10 favourite influencers and activists who inspire us to make change every day.
To learn more about Take 3, click here.
To learn more about our fabrics, click here.
Make Fashion Circular - Ellen MacArthur Foundation
The New Plastics Economy Rethinking the future of plastics - Ellen MacArthur Foundation
How well do you know your recycling labels? - Take 3 For The Sea