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Environmental concerns associated with the use of polyester sewing thread

Environmental concerns associated with the use of polyester sewing thread

The clothing industry is one of the largest consumers of polyester sewing thread. Polyester is synthetic fiber that is made from petrochemicals. This material is cost-effective, strong and durable, and as such, it is used to make various textiles including clothing, bags, shoes, and home furnishings. However, the environmental concerns associated with polyester and its use as a sewing thread should not be ignored.

Environmental impacts of polyester sewing thread

Polyester sewing thread contributes to environmental pollution and impacts both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The production of polyester requires a significant amount of energy and water, which adds to the carbon footprint and water scarcity respectively, due to the intensive extraction process. Landfills receive many of the resultant synthetic fibers, which creates non-biodegradable waste leading to environmental pollution. When washing clothes made from polyester and other synthetic clothing materials, we shed microfibers that are discharged into the water systems disrupting aquatic ecosystems. Fish can ingest these microfibers, and humans who eat the fish ingest the fiber as well, leading to adverse health effects.

Alternatives to polyester sewing thread

It is encouraging to know that there are eco-friendly alternatives to polyester sewing thread, and these alternatives can reduce environmental pollution significantly. Below are some of the alternatives:

  1. Organic cotton threads: made from natural cotton, these threads are biodegradable and do not contain harmful chemical components.
  2. Silk threads: Silk is an all-natural material that is soft and durable, making it an ideal alternative for the sewing thread.
  3. Linen threads: Linen has been used as a sewing material for centuries, and has stood the test of time due to its strength and durability.
  4. Jute threads: Jute is incredibly versatile and is commonly used to make biodegradable sacks. It is a great alternative to polyester that could be used for various textiles applications, including sewing.
Environmental concerns associated with the use of polyester sewing thread
Environmental concerns associated with the use of polyester sewing thread

Alternatives to Polyester Sewing Thread

Thread TypeAdvantagesDisadvantages
Organic cotton threadsBiodegradable, environmentally friendlyMore expensive than polyester threads
Silk threadsSoft and durable, biodegradable, and eco-friendlyExpensive
Linen threadsStrong and durable, eco-friendlyExpensive, difficult to find in local stores
Jute threadsBiodegradable, environmentally friendlyRough texture, limited use in specific textiles applications


Using eco-friendly alternatives to polyester sewing threads is an essential step towards reducing the environmental impact of textile manufacturing. Polyester production is energy-intensive, and the resultant synthetic fibers add to environmental pollution. Microfibers from synthetic fabrics negatively affect aquatic ecosystems, which could have adverse implications for human health. The alternatives highlighted in this article provide a starting point to consider eco-friendly options for sewing threads. When we are mindful of the environment in our textile manufacturing processes, we preserve natural resources and support sustainable textile production processes.