What exactly is in those comfortable stretch jeans…?
Meg McGowan – a Permaculture Coach on the NSW Central Coast – found out by putting a pair of stretch jeans through her compost routine – household compost, hot compost, and a worm hotel.
After a year – the result was quite shocking. These are reported as pure cotton with 3% elastane, yet left this huge mass of interlocked stretch threads of polyether-polyurea copolymer.
Many stretch items are described as “Recycled” – these generally claim to use post consumer waste – plastic bottles and other PET sources, or harvested ocean waste ( aka plastic pollution ) – but none of the oil based filaments used to give garments stretch can be recycled once the item is discarded. They all end up in landfill or get incinerated.
And we won’t discuss micro-fibres here – you can go to the Story of Stuff for that problem.