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The 7 Scary Ways Microfibers Impact Our Ecosystem

By Marissa Higgins

When it comes to shopping for apparel, things can get overwhelming, fast. Many shoppers take into account style, fit, price, and comfort before making a single purchase. In recent years, we’re seen a growing movement of fashion-related concerns that are less about fit and much more about the clothes themselves. Shoppers are starting to wonder about just where their clothing came from, and how their outfit may impact the environment.

We’ve all probably worn microfibers, whether for our winter jackets, a cozy fleece blanket, or our extra absorbent workout socks. But recent research raises serious concerns about how healthy this is for our environment, and what possible solutions we have to replace this everyday item in our clothing. 

We’ve broken down the seven things you need to know about microfibers and how we can make healthier choices for the environment, starting with our wardrobe. 

1.Your synthetic fleeces are shedding, and it's a big problem.

Recent research suggests that on average, our synthetic fleece jackets release 1.7 grams of microfibers each time we wash them. And if you're washing an older item, you can count on it releasing as much as double the amount of fibers in each wash. This means a lot of microfibers are going into the water in our washing machines and being sent straight back to our environment. Not good. 

2. What's bad about microfibers entering our water?

To put it simply, the amount of microfibers being released into our water is seriously harming our fish. In fact, it has a negative impact on our entire underwater eco-system. 

3. How far-reaching is this problem?

The size of the microfibers makes them really easy for fish to consume and other underwater wildlife. Because larger animals often eat fish and small sea creatures, microfibers can easily bioaccumulate and end up in the bodies of the animals which consume fish. As the circle of life goes, these microfibers can end up higher up the food chain in virtually no time.