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A Cleaner World Blog

Choosing Natural Fibers Can Help the Environment

The older I get, the more things like littering, excess trash, and waste bother me. We live out in the country, and folks tend to use our road as their personal trash can. Daily, when I walk Macy the Wonder Beagle, I pick up several pieces of trash, and it makes me boiling mad to think that people in their laziness and lack of concern would just throw their trash out the window.

Little did I know, until I read an article about how our laundry pollutes water ways, that I was guilty of littering by some of the clothes I choose to purchase.

Why Some Fabrics Pollute Water

  • Synthetic fibers breakdown in the wash forming tiny plastic fibers.
  • These tiny fibers are too small to be caught by the machine’s filters, which can add up to thousands of fibers from just one load.
  • They are carried to waste water treatment plants but are too small to be removed during processing, so they are dumped into rivers which feed into oceans.
  • Plastics breakdown slowly in water, so the amount of fibers in the ocean are increasing. In addition, plastic is buoyant, so it will travel long distances, impacting lots of fish and animals.

Choosing Eco-Friendly Fabrics 

One way to combat this problem is to choose natural fibers like cotton, linen, silk, wool, and cashmere. Why?

  • Renewable – plants can be grown and harvested year after year, and animals produce new coats each year.
  • Biodegradable – natural fibers decompose, so they don’t add waste, and they won’t produce tiny plastic fibers when washed.
  • Carbon Neutral – plants absorb the same amount of carbon dioxide they produce, and during processing, they create organic wastes that can be used to make electricity or housing material.

Besides the environmental benefit, let’s not forget that natural fibers are also comfortable and great insulators. If you need assistance caring for your natural fiber garments, please drop by one of our convenient locations.

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