Our clothing is meant to be an expression of our personality, a statement of our character, something to comfort and protect us. Yet, when we dig a little deeper, we find that our beloved garments can actually be a threat to the earth that we walk on and the air that we breathe, with a typical polyester shirt taking up to 200 years to decompose. The fast fashion industry has created a vicious clothing cycle that consumers buy into; instead of buying a few high-quality pieces that will last them for years, people opt in to buying tonnes of low-quality, ridiculously cheap pieces that will only last a few months and, quite frankly, it’s creating an environmental crisis.

Unfortunately, fast fashion is growing, well…fast. Every single year, over $450 billion worth of textiles are thrown away around the world, a figure estimated to rise exponentially to unthinkable levels. The average westerner’s waste has quadrupled over the last 20 years, with he or she throwing away 38 kilograms of clothing every single year. Around the world, that’s the equivalent of a rubbish truck full of clothing every single second. Astonishingly, one in three young women, the biggest segment of UK consumers, consider clothing worn once or twice to be old.

So, what is this doing to the planet? Well, it’s not only the manufacturing, transportation and disposal of these items that causes problems, but also the washing of them that we need to be concerned about. These cheap synthetic materials used in fast fashion, like polyester, nylon, and lycra, are basically made from plastic. Just washing one load of them releases millions of microplastics into the wastewater system, where they then act as a magnet for
pollutants and absorb toxic stuff from detergents and chemicals they meet along the way. Small fish, like plankton, then eat these harmful microplastics, then larger fish eat the plankton and...you guessed it, we end up eating the larger fish. For marine life, these microplastics block digestive tracts, alter feeding behaviour, reduce growth and harm reproductive output. For humans, worryingly, these microplastics are in the food that we eat, the water we drink and even the air that we breathe.

The solution? Well, although repairing clothes, fashion subscription models, and upcycling are nice gestures, they will not solve the problem. Infact, only 0.1 percent of all clothing collected by charities and take-back programs is actually recycled into new textile fibres. Instead, the answer lies in the way we create and manufacture our clothes. Technology has always been embedded into the very fabric of fashion and we’re now entering an age where technology and fashion are coming together as one to create clothing and accessories that are far more sustainable. At Masuku, we believe that waste is out of fashion and we’re making huge technological advancements to make sure every face mask we craft is as eco-friendly and waste free as practically possible. We’re believers in quality over quantity, in choosing well and buying less. We believe that fashion should not cost the earth and that sustainable design is superior design.

Our AirLab™ facility in Hellaby, Rotherham, is a centre of excellence for sustainable filtration technology, in which we produce Masuku’s proprietary nanofiber filtration fabric in highly controlled conditions. Our ultra-light electrospun filter is paired with the recycled technical spacer mesh material, which makes for a softer, ventilated feel to the face mask. There is no face mask in the market that matches the advanced filtration technology, sustainability and protection of the Masuku One. Through revolutionary technological leaps, we embed sustainability and eco-consciousness into everything we do and every face mask we make.