Polyester is vegan as no animals are directly harmed or killed, but as always, its more complex than that.
The process of manufacturing polyester is not friendly to the planet or to animal life and its not a sustainable material.
Here’s everything you need to know:
What is Polyester & Does It Damage The Environment?
Polyester is manufactured using toxic chemicals derived from petroleum.
Those chemicals contaminate and damage the environment, especially the habitats and ecosystems animals call home.
Polyester is also not biodegradable and may take up to 200 years for it to decompose.
Lastly, as polyester is made from petrochemicals they perpetuate the oil industry which is one of the world’s biggest polluters of the environment (for more see this article by Wilderness.org):
For example BP’s infamous Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. That spill polluted 68,000 square miles of sea, killing 1 million seabirds, 5,000 marine mammals and 1,000 sea turtles.
Oil spills aren’t one-offs, they are sadly far more frequent than we would thought. The Center for Western Priorities found that 2,834 oil spills were reported by oil and gas companies in Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming in 2018 – a record number since the organization started to collect this data in 2015.
Drilling Disrupts Wildlife Habitats
Wide scale drilling is devastating to animals habitats. Excessively loud noises, multiple large vehicles and masses of workers disrupt birds natural processes such as communication, breeding and nesting.
The U.N Says Oil Aids “One of The Biggest Killers”
Oil and gas production are among the main culprits of air pollution – one of the world’s biggest killers according to the United Nations. They say 7 million people die every year from air pollution and other issues related to it are:
- 3.2 million cases of diabetes
- Lower intelligence levels
- Air pollution from cars and vans cost society £6 billion per year
- Emissions from 14,000 industrial facilities in Europe cost the economy up to 189 billion euros in 2012
- The annual global welfare costs of premature deaths from air pollution are projected to be US$18-25 trillion in 2060
In summary, Polyester is unsustainable and damaging to the planet and most vegans are concerned about making more loving choices for the planet.
What is Recycled Polyester?
Recycled-polyester is a more sustainable choice for the earth and is recognised by PETA for that.
Recycled polyester is made from plastic bottles of mineral water and soda which are converted to a warm and soft material that won’t scratch you or be itchy.
The bottles are crushed and purified, the wet parts go to the big oven where they are dried. Then the clean pieces of plastic are melted before the liquid is passed through a cooling process. Once cooled, the polyester is in the form of a yarn, which is knitted into the fabric that is used to make garments like sweatshirts and jumpers.
Here’s how the process happens:
Polyester may not directly harm animals, but the production process is destructive to the beings we share the planet with.