We’ve reported on how the fashion industry is impacting our water sources in negative ways but now the spotlight is on you.
The Guardian recently reported that “the fibers in our clothes could be poisoning our waterways and food chain on a massive scale. Microfibers – tiny threads shed from fabric – have been found in abundance on shorelines where waste water is released. Now researchers are trying to pinpoint where these plastic fibers are coming from.
In an alarming study released Monday, 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, a certified B Corp that also offers grants for environmental work.”
Professor Sherri Mason who works for the State University of New York Fredonia told The Guardian: “These microfibers then travel to your local wastewater treatment plant, where up to 40% of them enter rivers, lakes and oceans.”
Growing Blue reports that 2.5 billion people (36% of the world population) live in water-scarce regions and more than 20% of the global GDP is already produced in risky, water-stressed areas. Growing Blue writes, “Given today’s accelerated pace of human development and the slow pace of managing issues as complex as water resources, tomorrow’s challenges are already at our door.”
Whether individual, collective, agriculturally focused or industrially inclined, addressing water scarcity begins with you. We’ll call it (cough) the ripple effect. While you work on some possible real-life scenarios for making change, click on over to The Guardian to learn more about how your fleece jacket is doing some damage.