Why are our shirts the best non-iron, crease-resistant shirts
Not all non-iron shirts are equal, and we believe it’s important you understand the difference between the options available.
There are 2 traditional versions of a non-iron shirt and these are COTTON and a POLYESTER/COTTON blend. Both provide a crease-free, non-iron finish, however, there are several issues that shirt brands don’t highlight about both of these options.
A freshly ironed cotton shirt looks great, until you put it on and start going about your daily routine. Within minutes, the cotton creases and by the time you get to work, the shirt has totally lost the crisp, sharp appearance it had when you buttoned it up.
To make a cotton shirt non-iron or crease-resistant, the fabric is treated with chemicals that are harmful to the planet and potentially to you too. One of these chemicals is Formaldehyde and this stiffens the fibres to help them stay more rigid. These chemicals are applied to the fibres that sit directly next to your skin and while there aren’t any studies concluding what harm these chemicals could possible do to the wearer, ask yourself this “Would you still buy a shirt coated with Formaldehyde if you knew this chemical was added and sits next to your skin for several hours every day?”
There is another major issue with Cotton shirts, and this is to do with the environment. Sure, it’s a natural fibre so should be kind to the planet; however, it requires a huge amount of water to grow. A single shirt can use over 2,700 litres of water to grow enough cotton to produce it and uses 16.5% of the world’s insecticides, even though it only uses 2.5% of the worlds cultivated land.
The alternative to Cotton is to buy a shirt blended with a synthetic fibre such as polyester. The polyester helps maintain a crease-free finish and reduces the need to iron it, however, polyester is the problem here.
Polyester is a man-made fibre produced from petrol chemicals, so again, you have to ask yourself, “How comfortable are you wearing oil directly next to the skin?”
This is only one issue with polyester, however, there are several others to consider which are highlighted below.
1. Polyester loves and breeds bacteria so your shirt will start to smell unless it is torn with an additional toxic chemical.
2. Polyester makes you hot and therefore you will sweat far more wearing a polyester shirt than cotton or merino wool.
3. More than 70,000 polyester fibres are washed into the water system and ultimately some will end up in the food chain.
4. Polyester takes and age to degrade. Nobody actually knows how long it will take to fully degrade as there hasn’t been enough time since the invention of polyester for a polyester garment to degrade so it’s’ definitely decades and possibly centuries. When the shirt does degrade it will ultimately poison the area it was dumped as the shirt is made with petrochemical.
OUR MERINO SHIRTS
By contrast, our non-iron shirts are made from Superfine Merino Wool and don’t suffer from any of the above-mentioned issues. We don’t use chemicals to make our non-iron shirts crease-resistant as the fibre is naturally resilient to creasing and springs back to shape when the fibres are bent.
Merino wool is 100% natural and only a small amount of water and grass is needed to grow the wool. When the shirt is buried in a landfill at the end of its life, the shirt will naturally degrade within months and the fibres released will feed the soil with key nutrients.
Fibres washed into the water cycle will degrade by the time they reach the oceans and are 100% harmless to fish and marine life.
Merino is also naturally anti-bacterial which means it won’t breed or hold bacteria like cotton and polyester, keeping your shirt smelling fresh, even after days of continual wear.
Merino also keeps you cooler in warm climates than both polyester and cotton as it dries faster than cotton and as the moisture evaporates, cools the fabric and therefore you. Polyester is faster drying than wool, however, it does continue to heat you up, meaning you sweat much more.
There are some clear benefits to wearing a merino wool shirt, not only for you but for the planet and while merino isn’t a low-cost option, it’s incredible value for money when you think about the quality and reduced washing required because you can wear the shirt for several days and still look and smell sharp.