We need to wash our clothes, however if you look at our Top Tips page we have given advice on how to care for your clothes and reduce microfibre shedding – it will also help to increase the lifespan of your clothes too!

Research suggests that woven polyester is the worst culprit for releasing microfibres into the marine environment – if you own a fleece, that’s woven polyester! The research has found that washing a fleece jacket can release millions of fibres into the wastewater system. Knitted polyester and woven polypropylene release less fibres.

Second-hand clothing has lots of advantages over new, not only can you get some different styles and vary your wardrobe, but they have a much lower environmental impact. Production of new clothing has significant environmental impacts due to everything from the carbon and water footprint to the chemicals used, it also tends to shed a lot in the first few washes. As clothes get towards the end of their life, the amount they shed is likely to increase again as fibres get worn out.

Sign our petition and take a look at our Top Tips page. The use of fabric softener has been found to reduce the number of fibres shed by more than 35%, as well as lower temperatures, shorter wash cycles and softer water.

The microfibre filter technology isn’t prohibitively expensive and any cost increase is likely to be relatively small. Our YouGov survey found that over half (56%) of respondents were willing to pay an extra £5 or more for a washing machine which had a filter fitted.

Commercial washing machines are used in manufacturing, laundrettes and hotels but the biggest microfibre losses occur during the first few washes, including any washing done during manufacturing, which is why it’s so important that commercial machines used in clothing manufacturing, as well as professional launderettes, are retrofitted with filters.

As of January 2025, all new washing machines in France will have to include a filter to stop synthetic clothes from polluting our waterways.