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One of the big questions we get asked regularly regards the washing of our products and the potential shedding of microfibres during washing. As a company intent on having a positive impact on the environment this is an issue we take very seriously.
To limit potential microfibre shedding, we've worked hard on ensuring that all of our textiles are made from yarn that reaches the highest possible tensile stability and strength. The key to our yarn is that it's constructed from long fibres, which are less prone to shredding.
We avoid using any toxic dyes and use a closed water system in all of our yarn production. This means all of our products are washed and dyed with the same refiltered water rather than using new water supplies and releasing unfiltered water into the sewerage system. We even heat our dye baths by burning recycled wheat and rice husks in a low emission boiler.
In under 5 years we've recycled over 100 million bottles, 40% of those recovered from waterways destined for the ocean. On that basis alone, we believe that the overall impact of our work is positive.
In reality, unlike clothing, our products gets washed very infrequently, it's just nice to know they can be machine washed should the need arise. For the best part a simple wipe down in the garden will suffice. By combining our best practice tips below with a microfibre filter or Cora Washing Ball, we can all help reduce the number of microfibres that are flushed down the drain.
Along with being more mindful about the quality and contents of the products we buy, there are a number of other ways in which we can all minimise the impact we have on this particular part of the plastic problem. When it comes to washing Weaver Green products, generally a surface wash will be sufficient. However, when it's time to machine wash one of our products, or any other polyester or synthetic material, the following tips and suggestions should be applied.
Use a liquid detergent. Powder granules rub against materials making fibres breakaway.
Wash synthetics on colder cycle. Higher temperatures result in more shedding.
Run full loads. A full wash reduces movement and friction, causing less shedding.
Use shorter cycles. Less time in the machine means less rubbing and less fibres.
Turn off the spin dry. Intense spin cycles cause lots of fibres to break loose.
Use a microfibre filter or bag. These can reduce microfibre pollution by up to 75%
As awareness of microfibre shedding grows, a number of very effective ways of minimising the amount of microfibres that find therir way into the waste water systems have been developed. Two of our favourites are the Cora Washing Ball and the GuppyFriend Washing Bag.
Inspired by the way coral filters the ocean, Cora Balls swoosh around a washing machine, gathering up microfibres up into a 'fuzz' that can easily be removed! Similarly, the GuppyFriend Washing Bag prevents microfibres entering the water supply by collecting the fibres in a self-cleaning micro-filter bag which protects your washing at the same time.