Recycled Polyester Tees and Synthetic Fish Food

Recent years have seen the rise of Recycled polyester clothing, sold as less impactful than Cotton. This is ignoring some startling facts about the harm during wear and upon disposal.

Do not believe the recycled polyester hype. Many claim to have less environmental impact in their production vs Cotton, however this data is highly biased choosing the worst performing Cotton regions for comparison and conveniently forget to address the question of what happens when the garment is disposed of or even washed – Synthetic fibres shed and end up in our waterways when washed!

Not only is polyester clothing overrated as a sports material, it is toxic to cure when printing, bleeds and sheds fibres when washing!

More than 4,500 fibers can be released per gram of clothing per wash, according to preliminary data from the Plastic Soup Foundation. *

Sure the front hand harm might be lower then cotton (once the fibres are made). But even taking into consideration that it is recycling otherwise potentially landfill bound materials the harm is strongly ignored but those pushing it. Even after it has survived hundreds of washes quickly producing synthetic fish food each wash it is still likely to end up in a landfill anyway!

Even after it has survived hundreds of washes quickly producing synthetic fish food each wash it is still likely to end up in a landfill anyway!


Synthetic Fish Food

Originally posted on and adapted from our Apron article.

To save you an entire read of our questionably written blog post below the general gist is that:

  1. All fibres break from our clothing when washing
  2. Most performance wear is made from plastic fibres
  3. These fibres end up in our ground water, the toxins make their way into our soil and plants, they also end up in the ocean and are eaten by fish. Either way they end up in us.

Putting aside all of the other reasons plastic is terrible, eating it is an awful idea. And the current performance wear craze and increasing polyester count in all of our clothing is contributing in a big way.

What can you do about it?

  • Try and steer clear of polyester clothing, particularly cheap polyester clothing.
  • When buying blends, try and get the highest cotton content available.
  • Cut down on wear:Wash only when needed. Wash in full washes (more water less contact). Cold water wash. Wash with like clothing. Hang dry out of direct sunlight.
  • Consider a Filter on your washing machine, or use a laundry bag to catch lint.

The next concern of course is coated Cotton Fibres and how cotton is grown, there are better fibres with less environmental impact. But Cotton is far better than Polyester and AS Colour Eco Cotton is produced using less chemical and more advanced methods.



These are all Marketing buzz words to sell you Plastic Clothing, often at a higher price than Cotton! Don’t even get us started on fleece. 


Exposure to the toxins that leak from plastics is linked to cancers, birth defects, immunity issues, endocrine disruption and a variety of other health issues. You will be aware of the campaign to remove Plastic Bags from circulation, Bottles will be next and this is great. We’ve already known for ages that some plastics are toxic, we also know they don’t break down fast and are clogging up landfills.

However what we’ve only really started to come to terms with is that plastic does break down, particularly in the ocean where the harsh environment and uv breaks plastic down into smaller pieces. You will have likely seen on the news stories about whales and larger fish eating plastic bags thinking they are jellyfish, which is bad enough, however even more disturbing (for us humans anyway) is that they are now finding plastic inside of the fish we eat and even more plastic is present in Shellfish.

Meaning we are now consuming the plastic we are destroying the environment with, which kind of serves us right.

Culling Plastic bags is awesome, so is cutting plastic packaging. There will always be a percentage of applications for plastic, however it should never enter our water ways.

It is also leaching into our waterways so even if we aren’t eating fish we are ingesting the toxins in other ways.


While tiny beads might look like food, little fibres are even more tasty looking. And those fibres are not staying in your clothes and are getting everywhere.

More than 4,500 fibers can be released per gram of clothing per wash, according to preliminary data from the Plastic Soup Foundation. *


Generally speaking the cheaper the product the quicker it will breakdown and release fibres. We do not advertise 100% Polyester Aprons on our site but we do have PolyBlend aprons, in fact our Standard Apron is still our highest seller despite our emphasis on the Cotton Options and really this comes down to a couple Good Aspects of Polyester:

  1. It is durable
  2. It holds colour


We feel Cotton aprons are a great option and the heavier canvas options will last, but when it comes to colour Polyester wins so:

Give cotton a go!

To increase your cotton (or any really) aprons life span:

  • Wash only when needed
  • Cold water wash (heat is the enemy)
  • Dry out of direct sunlight

The same rules can apply to PolyBlends, but also:

  1. If you must have polyester use cotton rich blends
  2. Limit the amount and duration of washes
  3. Wash with Liquid Soap (less friction = less loss of fibres)
  4. Cold wash where possible
  5. Wash with similar items.
  6. NEVER wash lint down the drain
  7. Consider a washing machine filter

You can read more at the Plastic Soup Foundation.

Synthetic fibers


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