Let me tell you a little bit about my friend – my Guppyfriend.
Most of us have synthetic clothes in our closets. In case your closet is full of organic cotton and other natural materials, you are a very smart and responsible human being … or you might be highly allergic to polyester which probably sucks a little bit. But Hey, it means you are one of a few people not polluting our oceans with their clothes. Let me explain.
Synthetic materials are poisoning our environment. When we think about this problem, images of plastic bottles and plastic bags come to mind, but synthetic textiles are a big part of the problem, too. Polyester/acrylic/polyamide are synthetic fibers from which our clothes can be made. It doesn´t matter if it´s recycled polyester, polyester from recycled bottles or any other synthetic material because the problem starts when we wash those clothes. With each wash, tiny plastic fibers from synthetic textiles are washed out into the rivers and oceans.
Unfortunately, neither washing machines nor sewage treatment plants effectively filter out the microfibers. Once in the environment, these fibers concentrate pervasive bacteria and pollutants. The tiny fibers are consumed by aquatic organisms and result in gastrointestinal infections and blockages, reproductive problems, and starvation—problems that ultimately work their way up the food chain. And I´m not saying I´m worried people will get sick by eating that fish. Stop eating fish for god’s sake. But I do hope that the fact that fish you order in a fancy restaurant is full of microplastic will make you think.
Back to the problem. So is there something we can do to help? Right now it seems we have 2 options- 2 products that can stop the microfibers from leaving our washing machine. One is called the Cora Ball (only preorder available at this moment) and the other is Guppyfriend washing bag.
The Guppyfriend washing bag
filters out the tiniest microfibers released from textiles during washing. The self-cleaning fabric bag is made of a specially designed micro-filter material.
How to use it
Well, it´s pretty simple.
I check the labels of the clothes I´m about to wash and if it contains polyester, acrylic, polyamide or any material I´m not sure off I put the item in the bag and wash it normally in my machine. The bag will capture almost all of the fibers released in the washing process. You can see tiny fibers trapped inside the bag after each wash. I simply collect the fibers and dispose of them properly in my trash. Do not rinse it out! That will defeat the entire purpose of using the bag in the first place. (logical I know, but still)
Next to stopping the microfibers, Guppy Friend also protects your apparel. The textiles lose less microfibers compared to washing without the bag. Hence, your favorite sweater stays new and you can wear it much longer. And please stop over-washing your clothes. So you can thank me later. ;)
The bag is fully recyclable and measures 50 x 70 cm.
If you are interested to know more about what you can do to stop microfiber pollution please read the Plastic Pollution Coalition’s article, 15 Ways to Stop Microfiber Pollution Now and sign The Story of Stuff’s petition to stop microfiber plastic pollution.
Thank you for caring,