Single-Use is the 2018 Word of the Year.
Era of the eco-warrior
When choosing the word of 2018, Collins Dictionary described it as the year of the eco-warrior. Supermarkets have introduced plastic bag bans, café’s re-usable coffee cups and fashion houses sustainability web pages, so it was no surprise “single-use” was selected as the #CollinsWOTY 2018.
Single-use means “made to be used only once” and generally refers to plastic products thrown away after their first and only use.
Since 2013, the word single-use has seen a global four-fold increase in use reflecting the world’s increasing awareness of the perils of plastic pollution, consequent damage to the environment and affect on the food chain.
Plastic is everywhere
From politics to textiles single-use is prominent. Although some countries have introduced bans on plastic shopping bags, there's still much to be done in the fashion industry as single-use clothing increases in our throw-away society - Think special occasion, need a new dress but don’t want to spend much, buy a cheap polyester fashion dress, wear once because the next special occasion warrants a new look requiring a fresh dress. There you have a single-use piece of plastic.
Is Merino wool single-use?
One of the joys of merino wool is our natural disinclination to refer to it as a single-use product. Sustainability is inherent in the production of merino wool and the resultant quality so luxurious and user-friendly, that the likelihood of it being used once is unlikely, if not rare.
Merino wool’s eco-friendliness begins with the ethical way in which millions of sheep across Australia are farmed to grow wool. Green pastures, fresh water and sunshine with no single-use plastic to be seen makes sheep country an eco-warrior’s paradise.
Wool is eco-friendly
Wool’s eco-friendliness doesn’t stop there! Merino garments don’t need to be washed near as frequently as synthetic garments and can be washed at lower temperatures - The perfect wardrobe for the eco-warrior!
Merineo prides itself on sustainable babywear. (Although we don’t have a dedicated sustainability web page, we do have a section on our home page displayed from time to time about the many qualities of superfine merino which include its eco-friendliness.) Using 100% superfine merino, we create newborn swaddling bags and baby sleeping bags for the infant eco-warrior. Even the binding or edging used as a design feature is 100% merino wool.
Photo credit: Chantel Renae Photography
Many department stores sell baby sleeping bags made with synthetic fabrics and filled with polyester wadding, making them less environmentally friendly both to produce and to biodegrade. Synthetics (like polyester) and plastics take years and years to break down in the soil and are therefore described as landfill. Merino wool on the other hand will be well on the path to biodegrading within 6 months after being buried in the soil – just ask Prince Charles who conducted an experiment in his backyard about 2 years ago.
Another shortlisted 2018 word is “plogging” which means picking up litter whilst jogging, to improve your health and the environment, originating in Scandinavia and also reflecting the attitudes towards litter. Other words included var (the abbreviation for video assisted referee), floss (a dance style) and gammon (a white middle-aged person).
Although using the word single-use has been significant in 2018, the world has a long way to go in reducing single-use items and slowing the impact on the environment. Plastic packaging is an example, creating tonnes and tonnes of landfill. Recently, Merineo introduced premium recyclable packaging for our baby sleeping bags in the form of a re-usable cardboard box (which is incidentally made in Australia). Why not use our box to store baby congratulatory cards and other trinkets.
We want to be eco-fabulous!
Merineo is continuing the journey as a sustainable business supporting the global winding down of single-use products and garments. In 2019 will use “single-use” as our guiding principle and we’re looking forward to interacting (or should we say flossing?) with our eco-friends – from woolgrowers to suppliers to consumers! Let's be eco-fabulous! Happy New Year!