We have discovered that microplastics are a huge aspect of our daily lives, no matter how we live, how organic we shop, and how far we are from civilization. We have uncovered that over 90% of Great Lakes fish have microplastics in their digestive tracts, the discovery of microplastics in breastmilk, and that most bottled water contains some level of microplastics. With these recent discoveries, I was inspired to look beyond my experience with Oshki beach cleanups along the Great Lakes into solving the issue during my senior project this past spring at the University of Michigan.
At Oshki, we have shifted our production in 2019 and beyond into using all recycled polyester - reusing PET plastic waste from the Great Lakes and around the United States. However, this usage does not mean Oshki supports the use of virgin polyester and we see the effect polyester can have on the environment around us. Polyester is a synthetic fiber, made from petrochemical material in a process known as polymerization. Although polyester is breathable, easy to clean, and does not wrinkle - it has its side effects such as the usage of fossil fuels, microplastic shedding, and the usage of toxic chemicals in it’s production.