Nature’s Bounty – Can we cut down the use of manmade materials?

Nature’s Bounty – Can we cut down the use of manmade materials?

Nature’s Bounty – Can we cut down the use of manmade materials?

8th June 2022

Even the shiniest of plastics is derived from fossilised organic material, or oil as it is better known. All manmade materials come, at some point, from nature. The difference between manmade and natural materials is basically defined by the amount of treatment and processing needed to make them useable.

Natural products usually need a small amount of processing to be useful. Wool needs to be spun, cotton needs to be carded and cowhides need to be tanned to make leather.

Manmade materials undergo intense processing that can change their molecular makeup – making the end result very different from the ingredient materials. Shiny, brightly coloured plastics are very different from oil, for example.



Another key difference is that when manmade materials are discarded, they usual end up in landfill sites for a long time. Many plastics take up to 500 years to biodegrade. When leather goods are abandoned (and we are keen to avoid this as well-kept leather can last a lifetime or more) they can decompose in under 50 years. Some natural materials have shorter useful lives – wool and cotton garments will fade and eventually wear out. But they also biodegrade much quicker than most manmade materials.



There is also the problem of microplastics, tiny fibres shed by many types of plastic that have infiltrated all parts of the biosphere. The damage they can do to animal and plant life has yet to be fully assessed.


RLSD view: We’re big fans of the tried and tested here at RLSD. When it comes to choosing between unsustainable manmade products derived from finite resources and a sustainable by-product of the beef and dairy industry that, when properly looked after, grows more beautiful and lasts indefinitely… Well, we think you know where we stand.