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War on Plastic by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Anita Rani

Bit shocking this programme, but the reason I’m mentioning it here is because of acrylic fibres being made of plastic.  The programme showed how these fibres shed and are launched into the air we breathe and that there isn’t any scientific evidence yet on how we process these fibres and whether they are detrimental to our health.  Well if this isn’t a promotion of natural fibres, I don’t know what is.  The whole reason for wearing a jumper or top is to keep ourselves warm or cool – and yes, alpaca can keep you cool too.  Acrylic doesn’t do that.  It can look good, be dyed into bright colours, be robust in the washing machine, but it doesn’t actually do the primary job it’s designed for.  If you don’t believe me, wear a big chunky acrylic jumper one day and a thinner natural fibre one the next.  You’ll soon feel which one is better for you.

The other thing is washing, you don’t need to wash natural fibres after each wear; they’re naturally dirt repellant and work with your body, maintaining a comfortable temperature.  So less washing, less water used = more environmentally friendly.  Man made fibres don’t do this.

Well there you go, rant over, and yes I do feel better for it!  One thing though, I didn’t know acrylic, polyester or any of the man made fibres were made of plastic, I don’t know if you did?  So, as knitters, the decision has to be made, acrylic is cheaper to buy, but at what cost?

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