Recycled synthetic fibers
In the eco-friendly fashion world it has become quite a trendy thing to make clothing from recycled PET bottles or ghost nets, fishing net that are floating around in the ocean. This may seem like a noble and very good thing to do, but researchers have found that brands that produce these recycled garments might be doing more harm than good in terms of microplastics in the ocean. Of course, it is a very good thing to fish old fishing nets out of the water, because so many marine animals get entangled in them. But by introducing clothing made of recycled plastic these synthetic garments shed a large number of microfibers. Most washing machines don´t have a filter to trap these tiny particles, and nor do sewage plants. The end result is a lot of microfibers in the ocean (also see our blog post on microfibers).
So, maybe a better idea would be to recycle plastics into items that need not be washed, like furniture? Nice idea, but it is very hard, if not impossible, to produce garments with stretch without synthetic textiles. There would not be any athliesure or performance gear. I don´t think people are willing to go back to that, so synthetics made of recycled bottles and fishing nets are a good solution in the modern world we live in. If you do decide to buy clothing made with synthetic textiles, make sure that the microfibers of your clothing don´t end up in our waterways by buying a filter for your washing machine, a Cora Ball or a Guppy Friend wash bag.