Hands up who is joining in with Plastic Free July?
Like so many people now we've been thinking about our plastic usage. As we go through Plastic Free July check out our social media for how we're getting on with giving up disposable / single-use plastic.
We'd like to have a bit of a chat here about what we're doing about plastic at Arthur & Henry. (If you're on our mailing list - sign up for it here - you may have already read this.)
Firstly of course our shirts are made from natural fibres, organic cotton and linen, rather than polyester. This is really important. 700,000 fibres can be shed in a single clothes wash. That's a lot of microplastics entering waterways - studies show that 35% of all microfibres in the ocean come from clothing.
So, yay for us. (And you for wearing our good shirts.)
But alas, our production is not yet plastic free.
Whilst most of the bags the shirts are packed in are now compostable*, some are still plastic - recycled and/or recyclable.
However we still use plastic for support around the collar. And plastic clips to hold the folded shirt together. And plastic collar stiffeners and buttons on the formal shirts. And the sewing thread has a polyester core for strength.
These are more difficult things to change. If the thread is not strong, the shirt doesn't last as long and then that adds to waste. Thread manufacturers developing new innovations though so we remain hopeful on this one.
It's hard to find a good alternative to plastic buttons for our formal shirts though we do use coconut shell buttons on our linen shirts. However buttons are not really single use disposable plastic so maybe that's OK for now?
The collar protection and clips are harder. They are single use, they get thrown away and yet, would you, our customers be happy with a shirt that arrives with its collar bashed? We need to find good alternatives.
Finally we currently mail the shirts to you in plastic bags. These are both recycled and recyclable but still....plastic. One alternative we're looking at is the brilliant RePack reusable packaging where after you've received a shirt from us you would pop the packaging back in the post. Watch this space.
So that's what we're up to. What do you think? Is there more we could be doing? Do drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet @arthurandhenry or connect with us on Instagram. We'd love to hear from you.
*Even this we debated quite hard about - compostable bags may be better re waste and pollution but there are issues with using agricultural land to grow things to be turned into plastic rather than food.