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SHIFT sessions: Microfibres from sea to source

We've always had a conscious eye on the impact our products have on the planet. The increasing problems caused by microfibres in the ocean is no different, and is an issue we've been heavily involved in tackling - see our previous work with Sophie Mather.

This week, Finisterre product director Debbie Luffman was a panellist at the first SHIFT session discussion, discussing solutions and insights into how we can tackle the problem. Important and interesting viewing for anyone concerned about the impact their clothes have beyond the home.

On Monday 27th January 2020 Emily Penn hosted a SHiFT Sessions panel discussion to take a closer look at the sources of and solutions to microfibre pollution.

Microfibres are plastic-based threads that are becoming increasingly common within the world's ocean.

According to a recent study conducted by Ocean Wise, an astonishing 3.5 quadrillion fibres are making their way into our rivers, lakes and oceans every year. That's the equivalent weight of 10 blue whales polluting our waters every year.

But where is it coming from?

Many of these fabrics originate from synthetic clothing - more than 60% of the clothes we buy are made out of plastic fibres. Up to 700,000 fibres are estimated to be shed from an average 6 kg load whilst they are being washed (Napper & Thompson 2016). The amount of fibres shed can vary depending on fabric type (woven, knit or nonwoven), texture (open, dense) the yarn type and the number of fibre types involved (Hernandez et al 2017).

Today, there are so many different ways to prevent plastic microfibre pollution in our ocean all the way from sea to source, and we've brought together a diverse group of panelists to explore them all.

Meet the panelists, hosted by Emily Penn, ocean advocate and co-founder of eXXpedition:

+ Dr. Imogen Napper, Marine Scientist at University of Plymouth and National Geographic Expedition

+ Carry Somers, Founder of Fashion Revolution

+ Deborah Luffman, Product Director at Finisterre, founder of ThinkCircular Consultancy

+ Jo Dawson, Chairman of H Dawson and Founder of HDWool

+ Ryan Mario Yasin, Founder & CEO of Petit Pli

+ Adam Root, Founder of Inheriting Earth

 

Words by Emily Penn