Friday, June 8, 2018

Are Your Towels Ending Up in the Food Chain?

The war to protect our oceans seems to be coming to our laundry rooms...

Who knew those wonderful super soft microfiber towels we bought for our spas would end up with their fibers in the ocean and inside seafood?  UGH!

And they're being found in all sorts of other fabric blends. Research taught me that there is no perfect fabric fiber.  Everyone has a different tradeoff or cost tagged to it. But there is a bright side!!!  They are finding ways to reduce the problem. Here are some key tips I learned from Patagonia's research and Google searches.

Shocking news: One study found that a single fleece jacket could shed as many as 250,000
individual fibers per wash.

Starting with the fabric industry Patagonia is leading the way... looking at all the different places where water and soil contamination can occur and how to reduce it. You're going to see washer manufacturers get involved and lots more.

Key takeaways you can use now:

1. Cheaper products shed more and don't last as long.  Avoid cheap poorly made fabric.

2. Quality products last longer and shed less over time so a win-win. Buy quality.

3. Wash less often. Especially outerwear. Try spot cleaning before you resort to the washing machine.

4. Invest in a front loading washer. In tests, a jacket washed in a top-loader shed about seven times more microfibers.

5. Companies like Guppy Friend now sell fiber collecting bags to wash microfiber garments in.
You can find them online and soon in local stores.

6. Consider having a septic-safe permanent washing machine filter installed.

7. Try a Cora Ball. (Currently online but expanding.) It duplicates the action of coral in the ocean. Put it in the washer with your clothes and it collects microfibers too small for you to see. 
Easy to use and clean. Be sure to put the fibers in a covered trash so they can't float off in the
air. (Tip do not use with anything lacy or that has fringe or spagetti straps!) Clean only when the collected lint is large enough to easily grab.

8. Cold water washes with fabric softener in a front-loader generate the least fiber loss.

Please join in, the environment needs our help.

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