Join me Polly Leonard, the founder and editor of Selvedge magazine as I interview artists, designers, NGOs, co-operatives, collectors and just about anyone who wears clothes to find sustainable textiles that celebrate cultural identity, diversity and the heritage of humanity. The topic for Episode 2 is plastic. Is it as bad as we think it is? To answer this question, I speak with a product designer redefining how we look at plastic bottles, an Italian designer who combines polyurethane with post-production textile waste, and a Senegalese partnership which brings vibrant African design to a European market. Plastic bags, invented by Swedish engineer Sten Gustaf Thulin, were first seen as somewhat remarkable. Thulin patented his design in 1965, and at that time he believed that durable plastic bags would have longevity, as well as replacing paper bag production which was causing widespread deforestation. While plastic bags cause more environmental damage than he could have imagined, we need to find ways to work with the the single-use plastic already in existence, and find ways to keep plastic bags out of landfills and the oceans. Jenny Jones, member of the Green party and advocate for all things environmental, tells me a little bit about how our relationship with controversial material is changing. Lucy Siegle, environmental journalist for the Guardian flipped the situation on its head in her article 'Bag for Life' (Selvedge issue 78); ‘Plastic bags are undeniably useful – they can carry 2,500 times their weight – so reuse each one extensively. Hand them down to future generations, turning the fact that a plastic bag might take 1,000 years to degrade into a virtue. Give them as presents. The world's remaining plastic bags should become family heirlooms.’ In that spirit, our podcast guests are rewriting the story of plastic as a romance rather than a horror and inspire us to look after and cherish your plastic. Our podcast explores the fabric of your life - that’s the connection between cloth, culture and creativity.