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Your guide to plastic-free living
If plastic-bag bans have you giddy with joy, you carry a stainless steel straw or protein shaker in your gym bag and your favourite keep cup is a staple wherever you go, chances are you’re on the right track to eliminating plastic from your everyday life.

And while it’s no secret a vast amount of plastic ends up in our oceans, did you ever stop to think about the plastic you can’t see?
35%
of microplastics in the marine environment are fibres from synthetic clothing.

What are microplastics? 

Microplastics. Those teeny tiny fragments of plastic often invisible to the naked human eye can have detrimental effects to the health of our ocean, and marine life too.

In fact, it is estimated that 0.6-1.7 million tons of microfibres are released into the ocean every year. Without every global citizen taking action, the amount of these <5mm in diameter particles is set to increase as consumption of plastics and man-made fibres in clothing rises.

What does my wardrobe have to do with microplastics?

Everything. What you buy, what you wear and what you wash can have a significant impact on the health of our environment.

Synthetic fibres, such as polyester and acrylic, are actually made from plastics derived from crude oil. When worn or washed they release thousands of tiny plastic fibres into the air and waterways. The figures vary depending on the fibre and detergent used, but research has found a typical 5-kilogram wash load of polyester fabrics released more than 6 million microfibres destined for the ocean.

65
million tonnes  of plastic were produced for textile fibres in 2016.
How to eliminate plastic from your wardrobe
It’s time for you and your wardrobe to go on a diet. A plastic diet. Here are some simple steps to say goodbye to plastic in your closet.
  1. Become a label turner and choose a natural fibre such as Merino wool where possible.
  2. Choose wooden or sustainable hangers over those made from plastic.
  3. Don’t wash after every wear. Wool clothes need less washing as they are resistant to both odour and stains. This also saves you time and money on your energy bill.
  4. Air dry rather than tumble dry.
  5. Care and Repair. Damaged your favourite sweater? Most rips and tears can be repaired, which will extend the life of your garment and save it from landfill. There are 21 billion tonnes of textiles sent to landfill every year. We can all play our part to nurture nature.
  6. No longer want your wool coat? Pass it on to family or friends or organise a clothes swap. Wool clothes are investment pieces designed to last generations.
Identify one sustainable swap that you can make and work it into your routine. Then move onto the next. These small steps add up to creating positive impact.
Lauren Singer
Trash is for Tossers

Wool could be a solution for the global microplastics problem

As a natural fibre, wool does not contribute microplastic pollution into the oceans, with science showing wool and machine-washable wool biodegrades in the ocean.

Wool fibres
  • Natural
  • Biodegradable
  • Recyclable
  • Require less washing
  • Renewable
MAN-MADE FIBRES
  • Petroleum based
  • Non-biodegradable
  • Landfill
  • Require more washing
  • Non-renewable

Investment pieces for a plastic-free wardrobe

Your guide to plastic-free performance
We workout to make ourselves healthier, stay in shape and release stress. But did you ever stop to think about the impact your gym gear could be having on the environment?
  1. Ditch the plastic bag for sweaty gym gear.
  2. Take a reusable water bottle.
  3. Skip the gym one day and workout outdoors.
  4. Choose activewear from natural fibres. We know it’s harder to find performance gear that’s 100% natural, but there’s plenty of great activewear made from Merino wool blends to reduce your impact.
  5. Activewear from natural fibres also require less washing, so you need less clothes. Remember to use a Guppy Friend washing bag for washing blends with synthetic fibres.

Plastic-free activewear

Want more? Here’s 5 extra reasons why it’s great to workout in Merino wool:


Odour resistant

In contrast to synthetics, Merino wool can absorb moisture vapour which means less sweat on your body. Merino wool even absorbs the odour molecules from sweat, which are only released upon washing.

Naturally breathable

Merino wool is one of the most breathable fibres. Wool fibres can absorb large quantities of moisture vapour then move it away to evaporate into the air.

Thermo-regulating

In contrast to synthetics, Merino wool is an active fibre that reacts to changes in body temperature, helping you stay warm when it’s cold and cool it’s is hot.

Naturally elastic

Natural elasticity helps Merino wool garments stretch with you, yet return to their original shape.

UV resistant

Merino wool absorbs UV radiation providing protection from the sun, making it a good choice for a wide range of outdoor activities.

Helping Businesses Tackle Plastic Pollution

For the first time, brands now have standardised guidelines to measure plastic pollution across value chains thanks to the Plastic Leak Project. This science-driven methodology measures plastic leakage and identifies pathways into the environment, allowing brands and supply chain partners to reduce their plastic leakage.

Download the guidelines