Did you know that every time you wash athletic gear made with synthetic fibers (including those beloved yoga pants), you’re flushing small bits of micro-plastic pollution down the drain? Patagonia helped sound the alarm to the threats to plastic “micro waste” from the clothes we wear every day and they have recently partnered with a company called GUPPYFRIEND to help us prevent water pollution at the source: our washing machines.
You may remember how plastic microbeads in personal care products were an issue a few years back, before Congress took action to ban them from personal care products. These microbeads were just the beginning for our understanding of how little bits of plastic can harm drinking water, oceans, rivers and lakes.
The GUPPYFRIEND is designed to make you rest a little easier every time you go to wash a load of laundry. Produced in Germany, and backed by and sold through Patagonia, the GUPPYFRIEND is very easy to use. It’s similar to a lingerie bag that women use to wash delicates, but the holes are much smaller.
Simply place your athletic gear, performance running tops, and yoga pants in the bag and wash your clothes as usual in cold water. Remove the clothes from the bag before placing clothes in the dryer and scoop out the bits of micro-plastic from the bag and place it in the trash (it’s crazy, there are little bits of plastic fabric in the corners of the bag).
The only catch to using the GUPPYFRIEND is that you need to use liquid laundry detergent instead of powder. My favorite environmentally friendly laundry detergent is from a company called Molly’s Suds, you can read more about their company and non-toxic products HERE.
So at the end of the day, small consumer choices can help reduce the impacts of micro-plastic pollution on our water ways. And I call on all companies making performance gear to create more sustainable fabrics that still enjoy the stretch and breathability we’ve all come to love!
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