Plastic Free July is upon us and now more than ever is the time to reflect on our global overconsumption with plastic, especially as a fashion label in the notoriously wasteful fashion and textile industry. Starting back in 2011, the Plastic Free July campaign is a key initiative from the Plastic Free foundation that encourages you to reduce your plastic, remove your single use plastic, and embrace all the reusables like never before! The campaign is filled with amazing resources and information to teach you more about why plastic free living is important and hopefully will spark some motivation and purpose behind your decision to embrace the challenge this month!

According to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the clothing and Textile Industry today accounts for approximately 9% of annual microplastic losses to the oceans, where the world is seeing approximately 1.5 million tonnes of microplastics enter the oceans annually! 

Connecting to the land, sea and sky that unites us all, at Baiia, we care deeply about sharing with our community how we are working with the very discarded plastics thrown in our waterways as the main fabrics for our range. Embracing versatility, longevity, and sustainability is at our core and  have been the guiding forces when designing a range that creates endless possibilities with materials sourced directly from the plastic pollution in our oceans. By collecting plastic waste from our oceans and regenerating it into a high-quality Nylon, used to make our swimsuits, our swimsuits are literally cleaning the ocean with every woman who wears one.

Though investing in a Baiia staple supports sustainable initiatives like alternative designs and materials, we encourage you to reflect on other aspects in our community you may not be aware of that are contributing to plastic waste in our waterways. 

How can my actions impact the oceans if I don’t live near the oceans? The threat of plastic pollution to aquatic ecosystems has been amplified by the single-use waste generated from the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the surge in global plastic consumption paired with budget cuts on recycling programs (Adyel, 2020; Duer, 2020; Ford, 2020; Konyn, 2020), plastic is being discarded near creeks, rivers, and in turn being consumed by wildlife that end up circulating into the ocean systems. There is no better time than now to have conversations on how our plastic consumption is impacting our communities, our environment and our health. 

How do my clothes have anything to do with plastic? Some people may not know how synthetic fibers from items like a polyester shirt enter our waterways everyday anytime we use a washing machine. Or how second-hand shops are being overwhelmed by the amount of clothes that are donated annually, anything that does not sell gets thrown away into the landfills. The gloomy prediction that in 2050 there will be more plastic in the sea than fish begs the question; what can we do to positively contribute to environmental change?

Aside from the obvious 'use your reusable coffee cup & shopping bag' lecture, here are a few little things that are super actionable and easy to incorporate into your life today:

  • Shop slowly. By that, we mean take your time before making a fashion purchase (particularly if you know it's a synthetic item).  
  • Wash your clothes less frequently, or use something like the Guppyfriend to wash your synthetic clothes in.
  • Shop second hand or recycled. This really speaks for itself, but making the most of the resources we already have is always the best way to decrease the demand for more. 
  • Demand more environmental transparency from large brands and their supply chain. 
  • Vote for legislation that will require industries to be held accountable for their waste and recycling practices.

Join millions of people around the world taking part in this year’s Plastic Free July challenge and share your journey with those in your life! The more awareness a movement like Plastic Free July will have, the more momentum our global community will have in preventing plastic from having as large of a presence in our daily habits!

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