More than half of all textiles produced each year include plastic. Now the urgent search is on for a more sustainable way to clothe the world
It was probably the only time a 93-year-old has stolen the show at Glastonbury’s Pyramid stage. Sir David Attenborough had important things to say when he warmed up for Kylie Minogue last month. After showing scenes from Blue Planet 2, the wildlife series credited with inspiring a sea change in attitudes towards plastics pollution, the broadcaster thanked festival goers and organisers for banning single-use water bottles. “This great festival has gone plastic-free,” he said to cheers. “Thank you! Thank you!”
Kylie’s crowd was right to feel virtuous – single-use plastic is an oil-derived menace to marine life – but how many paused to look down at the elastic in their waistbands, the polyester in their T-shirts and the nylon in their shoes? Plastic in what we wear may be less visible than it is in bottles or straws, but it is no less toxic.