The Story of Microfibers

The Story of Microfibers


What do you think when you hear the word polyester? 70s leisure suits? Sweaty-smelling dress shirts? That’s what polyester used to be. These days, everybody wears it! Yoga pants… fleeces… …even underwear. All made from synthetic fabrics, like polyester. More polyester means more demand for the Stuff used to make polyester. But you don’t have to use new Stuff to make it; some companies are making polyester out of old Stuff – plastic bottles, in fact. Every day, the world throws away billions and billions of plastic bottles. That’s a problem. Of course, the real Solution is that we all use less plastic. But it’s cool that, even while we work to reduce plastic, some companies are turning trash into Stuff we actually like. Drink it. Drop it in the bin. Take it to a recycling factory. Chop it up. Weave it. Wear it. Wash it. Wear it again. Wash it again. Seems like a great solution, right? But, darn, when we look closer… there are some REAL problems with this! The big problem is that some people might be encouraged to use more disposable plastic if they think it’s being recycled safely. But there’s also a little problem – a micro problem – that’s adding up to one big mess. Every time we wash synthetic fabrics – whether they are made from recycled bottles or brand new materials – super tiny pieces of plastic – called microfibers wash off and flow down the drain. Up to hundreds of thousands each wash The older our clothes get, the worse the problem can become! Yikes! These fibers are so tiny, water treatment plants don’t catch them all …so they wind up in rivers, lakes and even the ocean. When they reach the ocean, they act like sponges, sucking up other pollutants around them. They’re like little toxic bombs full of motor oil, pesticides, and industrial chemicals that end up in the bellies of fish and eventually in the bellies of us It’s gross. It’s already estimated that there are 1.4 million trillion in our oceans That’s like 200 million microfibers for every person on the planet! These are some serious downsides to what looked like a good solution. Time for these creative companies to go back to the drawing board. Because while we can wash our clothes less or avoid buying synthetic clothing… …we can’t solve the problem without them. And if we want these companies to make it a top priority, they need to hear from you. Let’s find a real Solution to make our clothes safe for the environment. Safe for the ocean. And safe for us.