Rethink your plastic jackets for more sustainable way to stay dry…
You know that waterproof coat you wear… the plastic fabric one that’s been treated with chemicals to make it waterproof? The one you’ve bought to replace another because the Durable Water Repellent chemical it’s been treated with no longer works as it got dirty and you didn’t know you’d need to maintain it and re-proof it with more chemicals?
You know there is another way to stay dry, in a more sustainable way? You can wear a waxed cotton jacket (think Barbour, Belstaff or other brands of jackets using this fabric), or you can wax any natural fibre jacket to make it waterproof.
We aren’t disputing that modern waterproof fabrics are great. Well at least when they’re new. And when they’re clean. Which is fine if you only use them when out walking in the mountains. However, the reality is that most of us only really use them in those environments for a limited number of days a year (or, let’s be honest, at all?). The rest of the time our waterproof clothing is used for everyday living - walking the dogs or a rainy day dashing to work or picking up the kids. These tech fabrics aren’t that abrasion resistant and once they are dirty the Durable Water Repellent (the bit on the outside of the fabric that makes the water bead off) stops working.
If you are not partaking in some high intensity sport and your primary concern is staying dry, then waxed cotton is an option. It’s a technique that’s been used for several hundred years – impregnating cotton canvas with some form of wax. This will keep you dry as long as the fabric is in one piece - no matter how dirty or old it is. And you can just keep re-applying it (not re-buying jackets) with wax, as and when it needs it.
Otter Wax is all about the development of those wax formulations using only natural ingredients in order to deliver the best performance in an easy to apply formulation. Made from the highest quality beeswax (not from otters or wax from otters – yes we really do get asked that a lot) and a blend of plant-based waxes and oils, it doesn’t include paraffin, silicone, or other petroleum-based synthetic ingredients.
So, perhaps put your plastic jackets to one side for an eco-friendlier approach to staying dry by investing in a waxed jacket that you can re-wax with Otter Wax and maintain for life, or take any natural fibre garment and by treating (and re-treating) it with Otter Wax to make it waterproof.
Endnote: We do know that cotton has its problems - specifically around the amount of water it needs and the impact of its commercial growth, but the pressure on cotton is how much we are using by buying so much of it (and it can be grown and bought more sustainably). We're more concerned around the use of plastic synthetic materials and the use of chemicals such as PTFE in waterproof treatments.