JUNE 20, 2016 | THE GUARDIAN UK | By LEAH MESSINGER
We applaud the environmentally-aware company, Patagonia, for shedding light on the concern that fleece jackets “shed” microfibers each time they are washed. Their sponsored research shows that the biggest culprit poisoning our oceans and food supply could literally be the shirt off our back.
In an alarming study, researchers at the University of California at Santa Barbara found that, on average, synthetic fleece jackets release 1.7 grams of microfibers each wash. It also found that older jackets shed almost twice as many fibers as new jackets. The study was funded by outdoor clothing manufacturer Patagonia.
Synthetic microfibers are particularly dangerous because they have the potential to poison the food chain. The fibers’ size also allows them to be readily consumed by fish and other wildlife. These plastic fibers have the potential to bioaccumulate, concentrating toxins in the bodies of larger animals, higher up the food chain.
zNano is developing a consumer-available laundry device to minimize the amount of fibers traveling to our oceans.