Microfibers vs. Natural Fibers
for a Healthy Lifestyle
by Regina Boykins
What are microfibers, and why should you care? Synthetic microfibers are fibers of manmade textiles less than 5mm in length. Micro-plastic microfibers come from textiles made of acrylic, polyester, nylon and spandex. Every time you do your laundry, microfibers shed in the washing machine and go down the drain. A 2016 study by researchers at the University of Plymouth in the U.K. estimated that up to 700,000 microfibers could be released in a single load of laundry.
These microfibers bypass water treatment plants. Once these fibers get into the local river and beyond, "they act like sponges, sucking up other pollutants around them," explains the Story of Stuff project, which is raising awareness and seeking solutions to this issue. In a groundbreaking 2011 paper.
Mark Browne, now a senior research associate at the University of New South Wales, Australia, found that microfibers made up 85% of human-made debris on shorelines around the world. Sarah-Jeanne Royer, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, says: “We’ve sampled them (microfibers) at the North Pole, in Antarctica, at the top of mountains and even at the bottom of the Mariana Trench — everywhere in the world.”
Synthetic and toxic dyes compound the pollution. The first time professor Sherri Mason cut open a Great Lakes fish, she was alarmed at what she found. Synthetic fibers were everywhere. Under a microscope, they seemed to be “weaving themselves into the gastrointestinal tract”. Though she had been studying aquatic pollution around the Great Lakes for several years, Mason, who works for the State University of New York Fredonia, had never seen anything like it.
Some solutions: Wear clothing made of 100% natural fabrics and dyed with non toxic dyes. Natural fabrics shed as well, if not more, so natural dyes are important. Wash all clothing in cold water. Air dry clothing rather than using the dryer.
"Spirit of Shakti" carries wonderful clothing made of natural fabrics such as cotton, hemp, eucalyptus, beechwood and bamboo, dyed with eco-friendly dyes. The clothing is luxurious, well made and durable well made and by conscious, responsible vendors. Just reconsider "moisture wicking" and "comfy synthetic fleece".
More information can be found at: The Story of Stuff Project The Story of Microfibers
Spirit of Shakti is a local yoga and clothing boutique located in the Railroad District.
Spirit of Shakti~
Yoga & Lifestyle Merchandise
Located in the Railroad District," Spirit of Shakti" carries eco-friendly merchandise to support all facets of your yoga and spiritual journey as well as lifestyle. Reliable non-toxic long-lasting yoga mats and props, organic yoga and workout clothing and high-quality stylish clothing suitable for a night at the "Shakespeare Festival". We carry men's clothing as well as women's. Exquisite hand-crafted jewelry by local artisans, meditation cushions, books and other inspiring items.