What Are Microfibres?
Microfibres are tiny fibres (about 5millimetres or less) as wide as your fingernail that are shed by our clothes when washed. While fibres shed from natural materials like cotton, silk, etc. break down over time, fibres from synthetic clothes made of polyester, nylon and acrylic are especially dangerous since they take centuries to breakdown.
A staggering 65million microfibres are estimated to enter our water streams every single day!
Why Are They So Dangerous?
Microfibres find their way from our washing machines, into our water streams, and from our water streams into our bodies! Aquatic life easily mistakes microfibres for food resulting in plastic ingestion. These microfibres eventually move up the food chain and end up being a part of the food we consume.
Recent studies show that 98% of plastic waste in consumables like fish, sea salt and even drinking water is from microfibres!
The toxicity of microfibres causes starvation, disrupted endocrine functions and digestive system failures in marine life. Microplastics also lead to neurotoxicity, affect metabolism and increase the risk of cancer in humans.
How Can We Help?
We can greatly reduce the number of microfibres being released into our water streams by making some really easy changes to our washing habits.
Here are 5 things you can do today!
- Wash as little as possible: Washing clothes is a major source of shedding microfibres, so be mindful of the number of times you wash synthetic clothing like your jeans. Hang them out in the sun a few times instead of washing them over and over again.
- Wash full loads, in cold water for shorter cycles: This helps to reduce friction so fewer microfibres from clothes are shed. Colder and quicker cycles have shown to extend the lifetime of your clothes and minimize microfibre release.
- Gentle hand washing instead of washing in a machine: Microfibres are released during a strenuous wash. Hand washing synthetic clothes when possible, with warm water and a liquid detergent, is a good alternative.
- Avoid fast fashion: Fast fashion clothes are often short-lived, low-quality and synthetic. They are a great source of microfibre leakage because of their poorer quality. Choose slow fashion and sustainable clothing that is more durable and of higher quality.
- Use A Guppyfriend Washing Bag: Guppyfriend washing bags are an effective, scientifically proven solution to stop microplastic pollution. Simply put your clothes in the bag before throwing them into the washing machine. The guppyfriend catches the stray microfibres. preventing them from entering our water streams. These sustainable bags are only available on koshayoga.co Find out more here
Our daily choices have a direct impact on the environment, so we need to be conscious of our actions. The great part is that even small, easy-to-implement changes to our lifestyle can significantly reduce the waste be create.
It's time we fostered a culture of conscious consumption, instead of constant consumption.