Wool vs. Plastic Microfibres
You probably know that wool biodegrades in soil, returning nutrients to the earth. However, did you know that recent studies have shown that wool also biodegrades in the ocean? As this is the case, wool does not harm the planet with microfibre and plastic pollution.
Research has revealed that 44% of the public are unaware that microfibres (the microscopic fibres released into waterways when we wash our clothes) often end up in our food.1 We’re effectively eating our own clothes. An estimated 35% of primary microplastic entering our oceans are released through the washing of textiles.2 Studies have found these fibres in our food – from mussels and table salt to honey and beer. Plastic microfibres can also absorb toxic chemicals, with the long-term effect of this on our health yet to be fully established. As wool biodegrades in the ocean, it’s obviously better for our health and the planet.
Synthetic clothing is on the rise, accounting for 60% of all clothing produced as of 2018.3 A survey of over 2,000 people across the UK highlighted that 44% of people don’t know that synthetic fibres, such as polyester, acrylic, or nylon, are actually plastic.4 Half a million tonnes of plastic microfibres a year contribute to ocean pollution, one of the most serious environmental issues that we’re currently facing. Plastic can take centuries to biodegrade, while wool biodegrades in water in a short time. Nicholas Coleridge, Chairman of the Campaign for Wool, affirms that wool is the “right and natural choice”.5
Other Benefits of Wool
Peter Ackroyd, Chief Operating Officer for the Campaign for Wool, believes that you can take care of wool, but that wool will also take care of you. Not only is it easy to look after, but Ackroyd points out that wool “requires less laundering due to its natural cleansing and stain repellent properties”. Plus, Ackroyd highlights that investing in wool will give back lots in return – not just in terms of comfort, but also in longevity and cost per year. Switching to wool would “reduce land and sea-fill waste, whilst also reducing energy and water use”.6
With all these benefits for you and your planet, why not check the label when shopping to make sure that you’re doing your best to avoid polluting the environment?