Care for your clothes

Research is in it's early stages, but findings so far indicate that taking better care of our clothes and preventing them from wearing out can reduce the likelihood of microfibres shedding and entering our oceans. Follow these simple steps to help prevent microfibres shedding at home.


Wash clothes only when needed

Sometimes the lazy way is the better way! Every time we wash our clothes, it can cause them to wear and shed more microfibres.

Check your clothes before you put them in the wash. How do they smell? Can you see any visible dirt? Think about alternative ways to wash your clothes such as spot washing (hand washing certain areas of your garment) or air washing (hang worn clothes in cold areas of your house to kill bacteria). Freezing your knitwear and denim is another great method for killing bacteria and is recommended by fashion experts. 



Choose clothes to last

Choose clothing which is more durable, you'll get more wears from, and which won't end up in the bin. The UK already sends 300,000 tonnes of clothing to landfill every year (WRAP). Over time this clothing breaks down into microplastics which can find their way into eco systems and often our oceans too.  

Check your clothing care label and look out for clothes made from organic and well sourced fabrics. Think about the other items in your wardrobe. Will you get your 30 wears out of it?



Wash clothes the gentle way

How you wash your clothes is one of the most important ways that we as individuals can reduce the likelihood of microfibres shedding in the wash. Always check your care labels for special washing tips and follow the four 'Clever Care' tips below to wash the gentle way and help keep your clothes in shape for longer too!

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Wash clothes only when needed

Ok, we know we’ve said this already but it is the best way to cut microfibre pollution at home. Microfibres are released in the wash, so if you can get another wear out of something, let it air instead!

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Wash at 30°

Wash at a lower temperature (30degC) and always check care labels for special washing tips.  Not only does this save energy, research suggests it can limit microfibre shedding as cooler water doesn’t wear your clothes as much as hotter ones.

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Use a full load

Use a full load and wash on a shorter, gentler cycle; this can reduce friction on your clothes which is thought to cause microfibres to shed and clothes to wear.

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Avoid tumble dryers

Avoid the tumble dryer, they may wear out your clothes faster, increasing the likelihood of microfibre release on the next wash. Your clothes will stay in shape for longer too! If you have a condenser tumble dryer, the liquid collected may contain plastic microfibres – empty it into the bin rather than your sink.