The Story of Stuff: Microfibers from washing clothes, another ocean pollutant

The Story of Stuff’s latest film is explaining how the tiny bits of synthetic fibers washing off clothes – think polyester yoga pants, fleeces and underwear even, among others – are creating an environmental catastrophe in the oceans.

These microfiber pieces are smaller than a grain of rice, measuring less than 5mm in length, which mean they cannot be filtered out by washing machines or even waste water treatment plants.

According to The Story of Staff, these microfibres pieces get flushed out into waterways and oceans, where they act like little sponges, attracting and absorbing other toxic chemicals around them, like motor oil and pesticides. Eventually they climb their way up the food chain.

Sixty percent of the fabric manufactured globally in 2014 was polyester. The athletic wear sector, which manufactures fleeces, yoga pants using polyester for instance, is the fastest-growing one in the fashion world.

The industry has known about this issue for at years, yet there has been little movement to create a solution, according to The Story of Stuff. Clothing manufacturers could be pressured to take responsibility for the full life cycle of their products, The Story of Stuff suggest, and that as many people as possible should demand accountability and transparency from clothing manufacturers.

As the film points out, without getting clothing companies on our side, personal shopping choices will have minimal impact. The Story of Stuff are urging people to sign a petition and to share this video to bring about awareness.

The Story of Stuff

Rosalind Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She is a writer specialising in sustainable life & style, music, entertainments and wellbeing. Rosalind also works as a spiritual life coach and intuitive advisor helping people to become who they truly are and manifest their heart & soul’s desires into their lives:

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