The story of microfibres

The latest video from the makers of The Story of Stuff focuses on microfibres.

The use of synthetic fibres has been steadily increasing with two-thirds of new clothing now being made from synthetic fibres.


(Source: Textile Beat)

Microfibres in oceans and waterways are an increasing problem. A recent study found that when synthetic jackets are washed in a washing machine, they release an average of 1.7 grams of microfibres each wash. While waste water treatment plants capture many of the microfibres, up to 40% enter our waterways and oceans.

The following ABC Catalyst segment (18:52 mins) from March 2016 provides a good overview of microfibres and their impact on marine life.

Combating this type of pollution is a big reason Cathy has encouraged Transition Newcastle to become more involved in upcycling.

The slow clothing movement is another way to challenge the use of synthetic fibres. In 2015, Textile Beat created a slow clothing manifesto which provides ideas for things we can do:

Slow clothing manifesto

(Source: Textile Beat)

The other things we have to do is get active in demanding legislative, policy and corporate changes. Here are a few groups working on plastic pollution and microfibres:

What will you do to help make a difference?

If you liked this post please follow my blog, and you might like to look at:

  1. Give Frank a Break! (A humorous video about the serious issue of plastic pollution)
  2. 10 ways to reduce your consumption
  3. Consumption and the Transition movement
  4. The paradox of inconsequence
  5. Our addiction to growth
  6. Social change and strengths-based approaches

If you find any problems with the blog, (e.g., broken links or typos) I’d love to hear about them. You can either add a comment below or contact me via the Contact page.


About Graeme Stuart

Lecturer (Family Action Centre, Newcastle Uni), blogger (Sustaining Community), Alternatives to Violence Project facilitator, environmentalist, father. Passionate about families, community development, peace, sustainability.
This entry was posted in Environmental sustainability and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The story of microfibres

  1. Pingback: Let's Do a Better Job to Keep Our Oceans Healthy - Mindless Mag

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