On National Textile Day it seems appropriate to note that 80 years ago, nylon fiber was a new invention on exhibit at the 1939 World’s Fair. In short order, fiber manufacturers and famous designers from DuPont to Dior, invested in research, design, and marketing talent to reach the consumer with the many applications of the new product. Glossy advertising pages promoted the various plastic fabrics – nylon, polyester, acrylic, lurex, spandex, and other new fibers, challenging the world of natural fibers in the textile market. No one could predict that the preponderance of these plastic textiles almost a century later would be creating an eco-crisis in the fashion industry with short term use disposable clothes, unsuitable for recycling, clogging our landfills taking hundreds of years to degrade.
In short, polyester has proven to be the dream fabric of the 2019 fast fashion industry, and the nightmare textile of the environmentally aware consumer worried about the world they are leaving their children.