The plastics in the oceans and the environmental issue the planet and its species face due to this, has been highlighted globally the last years. The plastic issue includes invisible microplastics which partly origin from textiles. A new area opened up for research and during 2017 Mistra Future Fashion initiated a small first study to learn why the shedding from textiles occurs. The research partner SwereaIVF tested together with Boob, H&M and Filippa K how microplastic are released from polyester fabrics, and identified three ways to minimize microplastic shedding:

1 ) Reduce brushing in the production step
2) Use ultra-sound cutting and thereby minimize the “open” areas for shedding
3) Collect the microparticles immediately at the source

The study calls out for further research –   there is a need to differentiate between fibres and other microparticles that shed from fabrics, ie investigate whether fibres or other microparticles are most relevant for the environmental impact. It also pointed out the lack of existing standardized test method and the need for developing such test method for microplastics shedding from fabrics. The method development in this study can be further used in future development of a standardised method.

Read more at: Microplastics shedding from polyester fabrics.