Raw materials are biologically based and unprocessed, used without any mechanical, chemical, or biological manufacturing processes, and naturally biodegradable.  Most clothing and accessories today are created with human-made synthetics like plastics that are manufactured with petroleum oil and harsh chemicals, making them far from eco-friendly.

The Eco Breakdown on Non-Raw Materials

Synthetics like plastic and PVC (polyvinyl chloride) go through many unnatural transformations using chemicals, heat, and other industrial processes in order to reach their “finished” state. Throughout these steps, they leak poisons into soil, air, and water, require huge quantities of energy, and leave a trail of planetary devastation in their wake.

Yet you find plastic and other synthetics all throughout today’s fashion: belts, earrings, fabric, buttons, shoes, and more. Given that these non-raw materials can take lifetimes to break down, they create environmental problems during every stage of their lifecycle – from creation to use to disposal.

Non-Raw Materials Poison the Planet

So what’s so bad about materials like plastic? To put it simply: just about everything.

  • Dirty fossil fuels: Plastic is made with crude oil or natural gas, which is non-renewable and environmentally destructive to obtain. And of course using oil and gas to make plastic perpetuates our reliance on foreign energy sources.
  • Chemical processes: These fossil fuels are chemically cracked to create the plastic we know and love, introducing more chemical components.
  • Poison at sea: Most plastic products are composed of tiny plastic pellets called nurdles. Nurdles are often transported by sea, and can easily be blown into the ocean by the wind. Once in the water, they’re consumed by marine creatures. Nurdles release chemicals as they break down in the bodies of birds and fish, causing slow poisoned death.
  • Litter on land: Because of its light weight nature, finished plastic products drift and float around the planet, contributing to litter problems across the globe. Animals often mistake plastics for food. Plastic consumption can cause intestinal or respiratory blocks, ultimately killing these creatures. And sometimes wildlife are tangled in plastics like soda rings and strangled. 
  • Plastic islands: Plastic waste clumps together at sea, creating areas like the Pacific Island Plastic Patch – a huge area of the ocean where waste plastic swirls around, slowly killing oceanic creatures and poisoning the water. Scientists suspect there may be four to five of these gigantic plastic islands devastating oceans around the world.  

Raw Materials Give Hope

There is a better way to make sustainable jewelry and accessories: use raw materials! Raw materials are biologically-based (meaning sourced from nature), and unprocessed. In Hearts’ low-impact fashion, we include items like feathers, plant fibers, bones, straw, wood, tagua nuts and seashells. These materials are used just as they are.

Raw materials:

  • Require little to no energy to transform into ethical fashion
  • Eliminate the need for chemicals and other toxins during the production phase
  • Are naturally renewable and the earth produces them in abundance
  • Remove hazards to wildlife and sea creatures

By creating eco fashion from unprocessed materials, Hearts avoids plastics altogether. Raw fashion makes us feel warm and fuzzy.

It’s safe. It’s renewable. It’s biodegradable. It’s raw. And we’re sure you’ll love it.

So think raw materials when eco shopping—like Tagua and wood and porcupine quills. To find out more, submerge yourself

Material - Raw - hearts.com.pdf