[Unpaid Ad] It´s a problem which is easy to ignore, because you can barely see the tiny and often transparent microplastics. With each wash, tiny pieces of fibre break off our clothes and make their way from washing machines into rivers, lakes and oceans. For you who do wear synthetic clothing (like most of the yoga gear is!) and want to prevent the microplastic fibres from escaping into our waterways, here is one small solution
As I´m worried about the microplastic problem I decided to buy Guppyfriend washing bag which is designed to capture extremely small plastic fibers that break off during washing.
I filled my bag with 3 pairs Arctic Flamingo yoga leggings, and was very curious (and to be honest, scared!) about the result. It´s recommended to fill the bag not more than half full and separate colours. I used also liquid laundry soap and washed the closed Guppyfriend laundry bag with other clothes as usual.
A city the size of Berlin releases a wash related volume of microfibres equivalent to approx 500,000 plastic bags – every single day (www.guppyfriend.com)
Arctic Flamingo leggings are made from very soft fabric, so not many/none microfibers were released on the first wash. I could find almost no visible fibers in hems inside of Guppyfriend. Which I take as a positive feedback. I believe it still doesn´t mean I don´t need to use the bag when washing my yoga leggings! I read that it may take a couple of washes until you find fibers in the upper corners of your bag and you can certainly use the washing bag several times before removing the fibers. As soon as I´l find enough fibers in the corners of the bag, I´ll collect & put the microfibers into the household trash. Please note that the bag shouldn’t be rinsed under running water! That´s how you ruin the whole point of using the washing bag.
The bag is very smooth inside, which reduces the amount of fibers the clothes lose, and using it can actually extend the life of your clothing. But what else can I do to prevent microfibers entering the environment?
– I can minimize how often you wash polyester or nylon clothes (my favourite).
– Wash in cool water. The hotter your water, the more likely you’ll lose fibers.
– Slow the spin cycle if possible.
– Wash clothes in full loads to reduce the amount of friction between articles of clothing and decrease shedding.
– Buying good quality yoga gear is also key. Cheap polyester that pill in the wash are releasing microfibres much more quickly.
Guppyfriend is an innovative solution by STOP! MICRO WASTE which is a non-profit organization initiated by LANGBRETT, a group of surfers and nature lovers. STOP! Micro Waste is dedicated to reduce the plastic pollution of our rivers and oceans. Profits from Guppyfriend sales are reinvested in further activities to address the microwaste problem and to avoid single-use plastics. Gotta love their work! You can buy yours here.
Written by Inkeri, the founder of Arctic Flamingo