Fashion and the microfiber problem

April 10, 2020
Author: Lissette Castillo 


As we know the fashion world has created a variety of environmental issues that is affecting us in many ways.  One of the problems recently uncovered is the large amount of microfibers the come out of our clothes. Microfibers are polluting waterways and oceans, since they are not filtered through in water processing plants.


According to The Guardian “New studies indicate that the fibers in our clothes could be poisoning our waterways and food chain on a massive scale. Microfibers – tiny threads shed from fabric – have been found in abundance on shorelines where waste water is released.” The fibers and chemicals are found concentrated in marine wildlife.



These fibers come from synthetic fabrics such as polyester, acrylic and nylon, which are essentially plastic. Even if products are made from recycled plastic they are still ending in the water - maybe even faster than unprocessed plastic, as the recycling has facilitated the breaking up of the fibers.


The Plastic Soup Foundation reports that “Plastic does not decompose. This means that all plastic that has ever been produced and has ended up in the environment is still present there in one form or another.”



What to do? We all have polyester clothes or clothes with polyester in them - is a very much used fiber. There are ways to minimize the impact of microfibers by following these recommendations when washing and caring for our clothes: 









  • Wear your clothes them longer and don’t wash as often

  • Wait to wash until you have a full load

  • Reduce friction between clothes by washing lighter and heavier items separately

  • Use a slower and shorter cycle to also reduce the friction 

  • Wash in colder settings – hot temperatures release more fibers

  • Use a washing machine lint filter. This connects to your washing machine discharge hose

  • Use a wash bag to capture most of the fibers

  • After cleaning out the lint throw it in the trash - do not flush down the drain

  • Dry the clothes in a low setting as high temperatures break up your clothes faster



  • Even better, air dry your clothes – it saves energy and your clothes will last longer

  • Avoid cheap, fast fashion clothes

  • Buy clothing made of natural fibers – they eventually break down and do not remain in the environment to pollute it, as opposed to plastic which never degrades



 Shop our Escvdo collection made with soft Pima cotton and rayon










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