KEY FACTS AND FIGURES
Microplastic fibres are a challenge for all clothing companies. The problem: When washing synthetic clothing, tens of thousands of plastic particles disperse into the waste water. These microplastic fibres are so small that they cannot be filtered by conventional washing machines, and sewage treatment plants are also unable to capture them, with the result that they get into the water and soil.
Synthetic fibers currently account for around 60 percent of global textile production. In many of our technical products, we also handle nylon and polyester fibers. Therefore, we consider it to be one of our major challenges to reduce microplastic fiber pollution.
Fortunately, we are not alone. The consequences of this problem have already been recognized by the entire industry. As a member of the Outdoor Industry Microfibre Consortium within the European Outdoor Group (EOG), we are actively seeking concrete solutions. We have submitted twelve of our fibers for testing purposes and thus we are participating in two of the EOG Industry Microfibre Consortium research projects. One of these projects focuses on polymers, fibers and yarns as starting materials, while the other deals with finished fabric structures and garments. The aim is to find answers to three questions in particular: How many microparticles are actually washed out of the fabrics? How does this process happen? Which substances cause the greatest problems?
At the moment, we are still waiting for the results regarding the degree of leaching as well as the general environmental impact of our microfibres. Until then, and also above and beyond, you too can do your part: The Guppyfriend Wash Bag for example, is an easy way to catch the harmful plastic particles from your fleece jacket in the next wash, before they make their way into the rivers and oceans. More information at www.guppyfriend.com.
What can you do to help sto microfiber pollution?
1. Keep the temperature down. The lower the washing temperature, the less fabrics will release fibers. 30° is just perfect!
2. Fill up your washing machine so your clothes get less damaged and release less microfibers.
3. Don't use the dryer, drip dry your clothes.