Dive deeper: plastic clothing | Sustainable Coastlines

What's the problem?

Some plastic waste is too small to see with the human eye. These pieces of plastic are tiny, but the impact is huge! About 60% of material used in clothing is plastic. You may be wondering why this is an issue — we don’t normally litter our puffer jackets into our oceans, right?

Here’s the catch: every time you wash clothing fabricated with plastic, it sheds tiny plastic microfibres. These tiny pieces of plastic are up to 5mm in size, so most of the time you can’t even see them! Washing clothes causes half a million tonnes of plastic microfibres to enter our oceans every year. Because they are so tiny, microfibres have been found in the air, rivers, soil, rain, drinking water, table salt and even your Friday night beer!

Small changes for big impact

Change the way you wash

Wash on a lower temperature. This is less aggressive on the fabric and therefore less likely to shake out microfibres.

Use a Guppy Bag or Coraball. They claim to collect microfibres during your washing.

Load up! A full washing machine reduces friction between items.

Use a lower rotation. Faster spins shake up clothes more, risking more shedding.

Wash less. If your clothes aren’t really dirty, hang them out to air, use a refreshment spray and wear an apron when cooking!

Shop different

Your clothes are more likely to shed in the first few washes. So keep your clothes for longer and shop secondhand!

Avoid plastic clothes if possible. Aim for Tencel, hemp, linen, organic cotton or organic wool. Check the label to see if the fabric consists of plastic. The most commonly used plastic fabric is polyester.

If you need a new T-shirt, check out ours here! They’re 100% organic cotton, so microplastic free.

Use the Good On You app to check the sustainability of your clothing brands and the ethics and environmental impact of fabrics! For example, Tencel would be an environmentally friendly fabric to use for your sportswear!

Even though fabric made out of recycled plastic bottles sounds great, they still shed microfibres into our water!