April 25th 2016
In 2025, there is one ton of plastic for every three tons of fish in the oceans, and in 2050 the weight of plastic has overtaken that of fish. The cause of this future scenario partly lies in our clothing. G-Star and the Plastic Soup Foundation are now joining forces to stop this process in its tracks with a battle against the microfiber.
Machine washing of clothes is a big source of plastic pollution in the oceans. Every time we do the laundry, synthetic garments shed small plastic fibers that end up in the water and pollute rivers and oceans.
“Leading European research (http://life-mermaids.eu/) recently showed that a fleece releases an incredible 1 million microfibers every time it is washed,” says Maria Westerbos, director of the Plastic Soup Foundation. “If you imagine that every day a couple of billion people around the world wash their clothing and that almost every item of clothing contains plastic nowadays, you can easily see why it is imperative to deal with this cause of the plastic soup immediately. ”Westerbos continues. “G-Star is the first fashion brand that recognises and supports the need for innovation.”
The Plastic Soup Foundation and G-Star are calling on other fashion companies, washing machine manufacturers and the textile industry to support the international Ocean Clean Wash. The signatories of this initiative will contribute to the development of one or more innovative solutions to prevent the release of plastic fibres from garments in the future, such as fabrics that do not release microfibers or washing machine filters that capture the released fibers. Technological center LEITAT collaborates in the initiative to research the technical feasibility of the solutions proposed.
Frouke Bruinsma, CR Director of G-Star says: “With RAW for the Oceans we were the first to make denim from recycled ocean plastic and we are now starting to completely replace the 10% conventional polyester in our collection with recycled plastic. We want to continue to create progress through sustainable innovation and join forces with the Plastic Soup Foundation to battle the microfiber problem. Only a strong alliance of dedicated stakeholders around the world can turn the tide. Everyone is welcome to join us.”