Fashion, micro plastic and synthetic fabrics

For some time now we have heard about these terrible things called microplastic. Even though most of it ends in the oceans because of car tires – we can still do small adjustment to reduce the impact. And maybe you already quit the colorful kitchen cloth, or threw out the face scrub with the little microbeads. But did you know that a lot of microplastic comes from washing our clothes made of synthetic materials?

Most of us wear synthetic fabrics like polyester every day. Our dress shirts, yoga pants, fleeces, and even underwear are all increasingly made of synthetic materials – plastic, in fact.

But these synthetic fabrics have a dirty secret: when they are washed, they release tiny plastic strands called microfibers that flow down our drains, through water treatment plants, and out into the environment by the trillions. These synthetic fibers are forming a plastic smog that is choking our oceans. They are even showing up in our tap water

Last year, “The Story of Stuff Project” released The Story of Microfibersrevealing that one of the biggest and most pernicious contributors to aquatic plastic pollution is washing our everyday clothing. Despite a flurry of activity by some companies, most clothing brands have failed to respond aggressively to this growing threat. Instead, they’re trying to pass the buck by suggesting that we filter the water coming out of washing machines. But with 103 million washing machines in the U.S. alone, that’s not a realistic solution.

It is time companies take responsibility for the pollution their products cause. If you want to read more and try to help, look at “The story of stuff”

Dorte Mindegaard

Dorte has a deep interest in contributing to a sustainable transition of the society and also of the fashion industry. Every link of the production chain of clothes has a severe bad impact on human and the environment, which Dorte believes could be reduced by legislation, consumer mentality change and awareness. She studied an engineering master in Sustainable Design at Aalborg University in Copenhagen and has part of that been in Australia at James Cook University to specialize further in sustainable transition. //  CONTACT: dortemindegaard@gmail.com

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