Plastic is one of the biggest perpetrators of pollution and waste affecting our ecosystems on the planet today. The most pervasive and dangerous contaminants are minute plastics (less than five millimeters in diameter) called microplastics. Microplastics are caused by the breakdown of anything from household items like utensils to the synthetic material that makes up most clothing today. These microplastics often find themselves in the soil or throughout the ocean due to human behaviors, often without people even knowing. In fact, it’s estimated that every time someone does a load of laundry with synthetic clothing 9 million plastic microfibers are released into our waterways.
Currently, 35% of all microplastics in the ocean come from washing synthetic textiles, with about 2.2 million tons of new microfibers entering the sea each year. So, as you can see, microplastics in clothing are a leading cause of the microplastic pollution plaguing our oceans. Beyond how they affect the planet, it’s also estimated that individuals consume around 74,000 microplastic particles within the span of a year. Microplastics entering the human body can cause an assortment of issues, from allergies to cancer.
Enter: BREATHE by Paka™
Paka is on a mission to reconnect you to what your clothes are made of and where they come from, and their outdoor gear is crafted from one of the most sustainable and functional materials on planet earth: alpaca fiber. BREATHE by Paka™ is a revolutionary new fabric made of royal alpaca fleece and organic pima that is fully circular, meaning it would fully decompose if buried in your backyard. The fabric is created with a double-knit pattern that places the soft-to-skin touch of the organic pima on the interior and the thermoregulation and moisture-wicking properties of the tencel and alpaca fleece on the exterior, which creates lightweight yet warm and naturally order-resistant clothing unlike anything created before. And, of course, the fabric is completely microplastic-free.
A revolutionarily sustainable clothing line.
Beyond being microplastic free, the alpaca fleece used to produce BREATHE by Paka™ is sourced from alpacas in the Andes mountains who roam freely in their natural environment. These alpacas are typically kept in herds of 30-60 alpacas and are never mass-farmed like goat and sheep, which cause an assortment of environmental issues such as mass dust clouds and desertification due to overgrazing. Alpaca’s themselves are also just hugely sustainable animals to source fleece from as they require less water per day than sheep and goats, and one shearing produces approximately 4 sweaters (while it takes four cashmere goats to produce the same volume of material).
Paka has also assessed each step of the production process and quantified its ecological impact compared to the industry standard – per garment, 5.49kg of carbon emissions are saved, and 400.98L of water is saved. On top of this, Paka has partnered with EcoCart and Backcart to offer a buy it before you try it program at no cost to the customer or the planet. Blackcart enables shoppers to purchase BREATHE products and try them out for a set amount of days before deciding if they want to keep them. After the trial period ends, the shopper is charged if they don’t return the clothing items. Through us, Paka is offsetting the carbon emissions of all orders, so BREATHE by Paka™ is literally plastic and carbon neutral for the end customer.
Interested in checking out BREATHE by Paka™? Head over to their site and shop the collection!