Taking the Plastic Free July challenge into your closet. Did you know that man-made materials like polyester, nylon and acrylic are made up of teeny, tiny particles of plastic called microfibers? Whilst a wardrobe without these materials is unrealistic (hello, I need my activewear!), choosing how we wash and care for these types of clothing can make a big difference to how many of these microfibers end up in the water stream.
Microfibers are micro-plastics which are smaller than 1mm in size, and shed from our clothes. When clothes made from synthetic materials are washed, these tiny microfibers are shed, and washed down the drain with the water from the washing machine. They then begin their journey out to sea, where unfortunately fish and other animals are eating them, thus they are entering the food chain which we are a part of! Believe it or not, one third of micro plastics found in the ocean actually come from our clothes!
What can you do? Only wash your clothes when they need it, on a gentle setting, and in cold water. Save water and power at the same time by waiting for a full load and avoiding the clothes dryer! The less heat and friction the clothes are exposed to, the fewer fibers they will shed.