Going With Natural Fibers is More Important than Ever

Apparel Made with Synthetic Materials is a Growing Problem - People are Literally Eating and Drinking Plastic Bits. Natural Fibers Biodegrade in the Ocean.

According to nature.com's Scientific Reports, about 60% of clothing worldwide is made from synthetic materials such as nylon and polyester. These fabrics may be easy, cheap options for athleisure clothes or base layers, but with the growing concern about microplastics, are they worth it?

The microplastics found in synthetic clothing contribute to ocean pollution in a very pervasive way. Through every wash, the materials shed off an abundance of plastic microfibers - most of which eventually end up in the ocean. Once these pieces of plastic are released to the sea, there is no effective way of removing them.

These particles are ingested by marine life, which are eventually ingested by us. A 2018 study of plastic particles in beer, salt and tap water found that the average human consumes 5,800 synthetic particles a year.

Among other benefits of selecting apparel made from natural fibers - from better breathability to natural odor resistance - these fibers also biodegrade in the ocean. In recent studies, wool has been shown to be entirely biodegradable in marine environments. Wool typically decomposes within 1-5 years while synthetic fabrics, like nylon, take 30-40 years to completely break down.

Kora is a global brand that is helping combat this problem. Kora is the first company to develop yak wool into high performance technical fabrics for outdoor adventures. Starting from the raw wool, which kora buys from a co-op of Tibetan yak herder families, the brand designs its own "Hima-Layer" yak wool fabric. Since its founding in 2013, kora's mission has been the same: Use the science of nature to support athletic performance in extreme environments; bring positive change to the communities that provide our wool; make the highest performance products on fair trade principles - and never compromise on quality and integrity.

kora supports the traditional Tibetan way of life, by guaranteeing purchase of the yak wool every year, giving the co-op a guaranteed source of income whilst producing some of the best base layers in the world.