On average, it's estimated that, in total, one million plastic drinks bottles are bought EVERY MINUTE around the globe, which is set to rise by 20% by 2021 if nothing changes. That's a lot of plastic bottles...and I haven't even said anything about the bottles that are already in our environment!
With this is mind, I'm utterly thrilled to tell you that rPET is now the only material, where currently possible, that I'll be using in place of my cotton tassels.
What's rPET, Helen?
I'm so glad you asked! rPET is a material made solely from recycled plastic bottles, the same as that used in those recycled plastic leggings you may (or may not!) be wearing*, so when you choose to have your tassel created using this, you are making a commitment to help do something positive for the plastic mess we've got ourselves into! Some colours are still not available but I'm in contact with the manufacturers to put pressure on them to create more shades. Where rPET isn't currently available, I'll still be using the cotton tassels (for now! ;-) )
My hope is that by creating a demand for clothing and everyday goods created from materials such as rPET, we are sending a message to companies that sustainability is profitable, meaning that they will buy in plastic bottles transform them into something beautiful.
As a small, slow business, cost is always a consideration. Thankfully, the cost of my malas using rPET tassels will not change, meaning that the transition can be smooth and not impact my customers at all. This is something that is very important to me and really emphasises to me that bigger businesses really could be doing more to improve their processes. In the meantime, I know many people who are now choosing to shop small, spending more money less frequently on really good quality, ethically-made clothing and accessories.
I’ve always been proud of my small, slow business status and of the care and attention I take in creating pieces that use ethically-sourced materials, but there’s always improvements to be made, right? I think most of us can always be striving to do better, and that’s exactly what this is about.
For Chant, this is a small step towards something much bigger I’m going to be launching on the 22nd April, Earth Day, that involves new materials, and collaborations with charities. I hope you’ll join me for the ride.
In the meantime, stay conscious, love your Mama Earth and everything that resides on and in Her <3
NB. Please know that if, for whatever reason, you prefer to stick with the cotton tassels, there will be a dropdown on the listing where you can select your preference.
*As a little side note, do remember that, despite rPET being a recycled plastic (yay!), it’s still a plastic (boo!) so if you do have clothing made from this material to use something to catch the microfibres and micro-plastics in the washing machine to prevent it from going into the ocean (not the look we're going for!). Personally, I think that clothing companies should be making products like the Cora Ball and Guppy Friend readily available to help consumers understand the impact that their clothing might be having on the environment.