Over the past 14 years, Ravir has established a reputation for quality clothing for both men and women. We started out with Elliott Kennedy’s beautiful Australian-made cotton clothing, and Ecowear’s hemp/cotton and Nepalese woollen garments. Sadly, Ecowear no longer exists, but without a doubt, some of their clothing is still being worn a decade later.
It took us a while to realise why so many customers were telling us how long the clothing they purchased from us was lasting. Then one day it clicked. It was all to do with the natural fibres, which do tend to last a very long time -- but so do acrylic and polyester!
The difference is that cotton, hemp, wool, etc. tend to keep their shape much better than synthetics and for longer. They are also breathable, and kinder to the skin. Of course natural fibres eventually succumb either to moths and silverfish, or to general wear and tear. But unlike synthetics, they can be put on the compost heap where they break down and become part of the soil.
Acrylic and polyester, on the other hand, tend to last a season at most. And when they’re sent to the tip, they don’t break down. Instead they infiltrate the earth, the rivers and the oceans, and are ingested by wildlife with devastating consequences.
None of this is rocket science but it helps explain Ravir’s penchant for natural fabrics, and hence for quality clothing. We’re not purists by any means, and occasionally we break the rule and stock something made from synthetic – but only when we can’t find a suitable alternative.
Alquema clothing is a good example. It’s hard to think of trying to make some of their exquisite creations without the qualities of polyester. In our opinion this is one of the best ranges of special occasion wear for women, and we wouldn’t want to be without it. So there is a place for synthetics, but in our opinion only a very small one.
It’s becoming clear that we are all poorer for the suffering caused by our choices. We may not want to change completely, but to continue to cause long term damage to the planet from the over-use of plastics is unsustainable. We need to think about consequences before we purchase any item.