are polyester clothes bad for the environment

are polyester clothes bad for the environment

Are Polyester Clothes Bad for the Environment?

Polyester is a popular fabric due to its strength, durability, and affordability. It’s widely used in clothing, bedding, curtains, and other textiles, but what you may not know is that when it comes to the environment, polyester can be quite harmful.

The Problems Associated with Polyester

The production process of polyester involves the use of many chemicals and petroleum-based derivatives, which can have a negative impact on the environment. Furthermore, polyester is not biodegradable and will not break down in landfills or the ocean.

Chemicals Used in Polyester

A number of chemicals are used during the production of polyester. These chemicals include:

  • Formaldehyde: Used as a preservative, it can cause skin irritation, breathing difficulties and cancer
  • Nonylphenol ethoxylates: Used as a surfactant and detergent, it can cause reproductive problems
  • Bisphenol A: Used as a component in factory and waste water treatments, it can cause cancer, gene mutation, and skin irritation
  • Perfluorinated chemicals: Used in the manufacturing process, these have been linked to reproductive and developmental toxicity, liver damage and cancer

The Effects of Polyester on the Environment

The large amount of synthetic chemicals used in polyester production contribute to soil and water contamination and can have an adverse effect on aquatic life. Because polyester is not biodegradable, these chemicals accumulate in the environment, leading to an increasing pollution problem.


Polyester is a popular fabric for clothing and other textiles, but its production process involves the use of dangerous chemicals and petroleum-based derivatives, many of which can be harmful to the environment. While polyester may be strong and affordable, it’s best to consider other more sustainable options for fashion choices and home goods.

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