The fabric - your questions answered
Fabric manufacturers have realised that there is a way to put discarded plastic to good use and give it new life. Recycling is after all kind of like magic, turning things into new things. The fabric we use is made with 100% regenerated nylon yarn derived from waste such as discarded fishing nets and other plastic waste products which would otherwise end up in landfill or pollute the oceans. The resulting material is then mixed with small amounts of elastane to produce the performance fabrics used for active wear.
Using recycled materials in this way can lead to a significant reduction in energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Furthermore, the amount of waste, including the amount of plastic which ends up in our oceans and landfill is reduced. Plastic can take hundreds of years to decompose. Whilst the decomposition can happen more quickly where the plastic is exposed to light, e.g. in the ocean, this simply breaks the plastic down into smaller plastic components which end up in the stomachs of animals or wash up on beaches and shorelines.
In the case of the fabrics we have carefully selected for our products, the base fabric produced with the recycled plastics yarn is then digitally printed in the UK, leaving only a recyclable paper sheet behind.
Washing filters - the next step
The fabric we use is not the ultimate solution, no one thing can be. It is of course part of a positive step to being more conscious about what we buy and wear. But even inspiring use of plastics for these fabrics does not stop fibres ending up in the water completely. Which is why Flip the Dog are also keen to highlight other products which can further help you minimise your impact on the environment. Your washing machine filter can already do part of the job, as its filter will catch a certain amount of, but not all, the shed fibres. There are now also several innovative products, such as washing aids which can be used to help stop many of the other small fabric fibres from leaving your washing machine. These devices collect the fibres from all types of fabrics which you can then dispose of more safely.
For example, the Guppy Friend is a bag in which you put your clothes and then place this in the washing machine. The bag filters out the tiniest microfibres released from fabrics during washing.
Or, the Cora Ball is a ball which goes inside the washing machine drum and traps the fibres suspended in the water.
As more products come to our attention, we'll mention them here. It is fantastic to see people innovating in this area and we are keeping a close eye on this. We would love to hear your own ideas and what you have tried. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org as there is always so much more we could all be doing.
Flip the Dog x