Dressed in plastic head to toe – is plastic hiding in your closet, too?

Following on from my previous post on plastic in clothing, I decided to investigate my closet to find out how much plastic is hiding in plain sight.

I hoped for a majority natural fabrics like cotton. I distinctly dislike the way polyester feels on my skin and how it doesn’t breathe at all.

The results weren’t as bad as I was expecting overall, but there is definitely room for improvement! Here’s what I found in my everyday wardrobe…

  • All of my “woolly” sweaters and winter hats are 100% acrylic.
  • My nicer blouses for office jobs were an variety of mostly viscose, rayon and polyester with no cotton.
  • Most of my t-shirts were 100% cotton which is great. There are a couple of odd rayon shirts in the mix, but I’ll take rayon over polyester since its a natural-synthetic blend.
  • My jeans are 68% cotton, which is not too bad I suppose. Another pair of pants are 97% cotton and 3% elastane.
  • My shorts are a win at 98% cotton/2% elastane. Not bad!
  • Most of my dresses were polyester. The worst part of this are the tights that go along with them which are all 100% nylon, of course.

More of my “nice” or office clothes turned out to be mostly polyester while the clothes I’d wear on a more daily basis when given the choice were mostly cotton. Its funny how I subconsciously prefer one over the other, and to be honest, I hate dressing for the office.

The outdoor and hiking clothes are where it got ugly. Most of these are polyester, including:

  • Underarmor tops and bottom base layers – 100% polyester. Yikes!
  • Fleece jacket & vest – 100% polyester. And some of the worst offenders of shedding plastic in the washing machine!
  • And yes, even my beloved backpack is 100% polyester. Funny to think this is the same material as some of my shirts.

My rainjacket, a Pacific Northwest staple, is 100% nylon, but that’s fairly unavoidable in a waterproof item. At least I have two 100% merino wool tops which I love and wear far more often than the polyester ones.

After ravaging my closet and piling up all my clothing, I turned around and looked at my bed. I wish I hadn’t. I checked the labels and I was very disappointed to find both comforter is 100% polyester. At least the sheets are 100% cotton. So I suppose there are a lot more things I could change, but I don’t see myself shelling out the cash for new bedding anytime soon.

How about you? How much plastic is hiding in plain sight in your wardrobe?

5 thoughts on “Dressed in plastic head to toe – is plastic hiding in your closet, too?

  1. For working out we usually wear a lot of polyester/ cotton blends, it keeps us cooler than all cotton. I never thought about the plastic being in the clothing though. And after staying on Padre Island National Seashore and seeing all the plastic that is washed up on the beach and reading your blog it’s clearly something that needs to be addressed. Guess we will have to go back to the drawing board for better workout clothes.


    1. Yes, its true the blends are pretty good at sweat wicking which is the whole point. That’s why lots of my outdoor/exercise clothes are polyester, but to be honest I’d prefer a looser fitting cotton over much of the current popular fitness clothing that’s all the rage.

      Linen is apparently the best fabric for keeping you cool in the heat and apparently dries pretty quickly. I plan to be on the look-out for it at the thrift store in the future as I don’t think it’ll be very easy to find. I just found my first cotton/linen blend blouse recently and it is really quite nice and sot and breathable.



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