We have discontinued Nylon blends and we want to raise awareness of the environmental impact of synthetic fibres to help makers make informed choices about the materials they use.
Nylon fibres are commonly found in sock yarns, including hand dyed yarn, to add durability. Other synthetic fibres are often found in yarn for different reasons; for example, to reduce cost (acrylic and polyester), add elasticity (polyamide) or for glitter/metallic effects.
Sustainability is one of the pillars of our yarn range and our business in general and is the primary reason why we have never had a Nylon blend in our main lines, and in February 2019 we announced that we would phase out all Nylon and other synthetic fibres from our range.
Secondarily, we dislike the look and feel of Nylon blend yarn and we believe there are better ways to make hand-knitted socks last.
We have a small stock of synthetic blends that we will offer until they are sold out. Have added labelling on the product pages of these items so that our customers can understand their environmental impact and make informed decisions.
What are the environmental impacts of Nylon and synthetic fibres?
Nylon and other synthetics are plastic fibres made from petrochemicals. They are not renewable.
With every wash, our clothes release tiny strands called microfibres. In fact, one piece of clothing can release 700,000 fibres per wash. These microscopic fibres cannot be effectively filtered-out of wastewater. While natural fibres like wool break down, synthetic fibres make their way into our fibres and oceans intact.
The problem has only recently been reported in the mainstream media because unlike the problem of larger plastic objects in the ocean which is hard to ignore, it is invisible to the naked eye. Micro-plastics are now thought to make up 15-31% of the plastic in our oceans.
Microfibres been found in fish stocks worldwide and are confirmed to be in our food chain. We’re only beginning to understand microfibre pollution and its impact on our health and that of the planet, but the scale of it is pretty terrifying.
When they reach the end of their useful life, Nylon and synthetics do not decompose along with natural fibres they are blended with. Blended fibres like wool/Nylon are especially problematic because we do not have the technology to separate the component fibres for textile recycling, so they are sent to landfill.