What are microfibers?
So, there's all this talk about sustainable fibers, organic materials, and purchasing slow fashion. But have you ever heard of microfibers?
Microfibers are the invisible destroyers of our environment.
Microfibers are small, fragmented pieces of plastic that come from wearing and washing clothing made from synthetic materials, including polyester, nylon and acrylic. Approximately 60% of fabrics globally come from these synthetic materials, and there's over 7.5 billion people on Earth - so you do the math!
Whenever you wash or wear clothes, small microfibers are released from your clothing. These microfibers get into both the air and our water supply. "On average, about 9 million microfibers are released into wastewater treatment plants that cannot filter them," (Ocean Clean Wash). This is crazy, to say the least.
When looking at the cascading effect of ocean plastics, the concentration of microfibers increases as you go higher up the food chain, so naturally, it follows that the larger fish we eat: tuna, salmon, snapper, all are filled with micro-plastics directly from the food they eat, not to mention what they consume themselves just by swimming in the ocean which is filled with these micro-particles.
Microfibers are persistent in our everyday lives, having been found in fish, plankton, chicken, beer, salt and honey as well as within bottled water.
Not only do microfibers damage the environment, but they also can affect our health. Issues including reproductive problems, cancer and DNA damage have been hypothesized to be correlated with microfibers. Looking at microfibers from a similar perspective, asbestos has long been known to damage our lungs and can lean to cancer and other complications. Therefore, inadvertent consumption/ingestion of micro-plastics can potentially lead to health problems.
While it seems like the future is bleak to mitigate future risk of releasing microfibers into our air and water supply, there are things you can do to reduce the possibility of releasing harmful micro-particles!
1. Purchase organic, natural fabric clothing pieces if purchasing new. This ensures that no plastic fibers (even invisible ones) are released when washing your clothes. This is why all Violet Revolt collection clothing are 100% made from organic plant-materials!
2. Purchase a fiber catching bag, such as this Guppfriend bag ensures that when micro-plastics are released, the bag catches them! There are a lot of other options to purchasing these as well.
3. Wash your clothing less! Especially in the states, people often wash their clothing significantly more than necessary.
In a perfect world, we would all own clothing made from natural fibers, however, that is not realistic. What we can all do is make small changes in our everyday purchases and actions to try to reduce our impact. By viewing this post, you're recognizing that there is always room for improvement to save our planet, so thank you!