I wore my basic black sweatshirt almost everyday, and washed it 4 times a week. Little did I know that every wash was detrimental to the environment. My sweatshirt swirled in the washing machine, microfibers detached, and then flushed out into the sea. By frequently washing my polyester cotton blend sweatshirt I was unknowingly releasing 490,000 particles of micro plastics per wash, and don’t even get me started on my acrylic shirt! These microfibers then joined the pile of other microfibers in the ocean which together contribute towards 85% of man made debris.
When I learned about my clothing choices impacting the environment, I was shocked. I had always assumed that tangible plastic was the main source, and it never occurred to me that the clothing I bought was actually a blend of synthetic fibers. Ever since I learned about microfiber pollution, I have become a more conscious shopper, and the way I treat my clothes has changed. It is important to minimize clothing washes not only to save water but also to reduce pollution. Moreover, as consumers, by purchasing clothes made from organic materials like 100% cotton or100% wool, we can draw the producer’s attention towards our concerns with clothing production processes.
Microfibers shed out of clothing over a period of time. Now imagine, that you instantly dispose a whole shirt away to buy another one! Just like we try to recycle plastic/paper, it's time we treat clothes delicately to increase longevity and rewear rewear rewear before we are truly sure about disposing the apparel.