Did you know that every time you wash synthetic fabrics tiny pieces of microfibers are released? These tiny microfibers are too small to be filtered at waste treatment plants and eventually end up in our waterways and oceans causing harm to marine species and the environment.
Trust us, we get it. Perfect is impossible, but that doesn’t mean we should stop trying. Here are 11 (relatively) easy ways of reducing microfiber pollution every time you do your laundry.
1. Buy natural fibers whenever possible – It's the obvious, so it's first. If you already do this then you can skip this entire list. But if you can modestly agree with us that buying all-natural isn’t possible, continue reading.
2. Fill the machine completely – More fabrics in the machine reduces friction between clothes which results in fewer microfibers rubbed loose.
3. Use liquid laundry soap – Laundry powders tend to “scrub” and loosen microfibers.
4. Wash in cold water – Hot water can break up the fibers quicker, meaning more damage to your clothes and more microfibers released.
5. Skip the spin cycle – Yes, the clothes may take longer to dry, but it means less friction between fabrics and that's the primary goal here.
6. Wash synthetic clothes less frequently – Fewer loads and for shorter durations ultimately results in less microfibers overtime.
7. Avoid mixing heavy items in loads with synthetic fibers – Heavy items are things like backpacks and tennis shoes which create more friction and again, more loose microfibers.
8. Purchase a GUPPYFRIEND™ - Patagonia sells these washing bags for about $30. The washing bag collects microfibers during the wash making it easier to properly dispose of.
9. Always put collected microfibers and lint in the trash – Down the drain means right back into our waterways. Always put what's collected directly into the trash.
10. Hang dry clothes – No sun? No excuse. Get a collapsible wood drying rack and set it up next to your machine.
11. Share this with a friend or family member – GUPPYFRIEND™ and other microfiber collectors make great gifts as well. Microplastics and fibers make up 85% of shoreline pollution globally, so go ahead and share the good word. Together we can have a greater impact.