Microfibres and microplastics are probably things you’ve heard of. They are the tiny plastic particles that shed from our synthetic clothes when we wash them. These plastic pieces go from your washing machine into the wastewater system and then on into the environment where they cause untold damage and disruption.
The clothes we wash account for one third of the microplastics currently in our oceans, with somewhere between 700,000 and 12,000,000 microfibres being shed during a typical wash load.
As we use recycled man made fabrics in some Riley Studio designs, it’s important that we’re all aware of this everyday issue, and thankfully there are some simple things you can do to reduce the release of microplastics when you put a wash on.
Use a Guppyfriend Washing Bag
The Guppyfriend Washing Bag protects your clothes from getting snagged in the washing machine and catches any microfibres that shed during the wash, so it’s a win win.
Heat is bad for fabrics. Over time it damages the fibres, which then split and release microfibres. Using a colder cycle avoids this and saves energy, reducing your impact twofold.
Add a Microplastic Filter To Your Washing Machine
This one requires more time and investment, but it’s also far more effective. PlanetCare’s external filter attaches to your washing machine and captures microplastics before they escape from the washing machine into the environment.
Use Less Water
Studies have shown that reducing the amount of water used during wash cycles significantly cuts the number of microfibres that are released. Doing something as simple as choosing a quick wash cycle can cut your microfibre shedding by as much as 30%.
Air Dry, Don’t Tumble Dry
We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again: always air dry, never tumble dry. Saying no to the tumble drier saves energy and stops the heat from damaging your delicate clothes, which is a main cause of microfibre release. .