Nina Murden - The Lewes Seamstress




Indestructible petroleum based clothing…  why it’s a problem not a boon.

I wash my clothes and when the weather is ok dry it outside,- I live in a windy spot. My son had a polyester jumper – a cheap thing bought when he was a student.  It got hung on the line one day, but unbeknown to us blew off the line into my neighbour’s garden. Olly just thought he’d left it somewhere. It was a mystery.  My neighbour’s an elderly chap and rarely goes into his garden.  So two years later, I’m talking to him over the fence near the washing line, on one of odd occasions he’s out, and there at his feet is the long lost jumper.  He hands it to me, it’s sort of a bit green with some sort of algae, but other than that no holes or anything.  I wash it, it comes up just fine, I give it back to my son, who carries on wearing it for another year or so, then inevitably he gets bored with it and off it goes to the charity shop or did we take it to the textile recycling?  Anyway,it’s out there still, somewhere! Whereas if it had been wool, cotton, bamboo, hemp or silk, it would have melted into the earth.  But polyester?  No chance.

If nothing in our natural world knows how to break down this stuff we’ve been making thanks to the marvels of science, (cough), then it will stay cluttering up our planet for how long?  Apparently minimum of 20 to 200 years. Not only that but a new study that found washing synthetic fabrics creates teeny plastic fibres that get swept out to see and these can invade the cells of mussels and other creatures, and generally wreak havoc.


Here’s a link to the what fabrics are biodegradeable and what isn’t.