Merino Wool. A Natural Solution To Microplastic Pollution In Our Oceans
A deep dive into the benefits of Merino wool.
World Ocean Day (8 June) serves as a critical reminder of the role our oceans play in sustaining life on earth. But as we strive to conserve and protect marine environments there’s no denying the elephant in the room - when it comes to ocean pollution, the fashion industry is a heavy hitter.
Fortunately, natural fibres such as Merino wool offer a sustainable solution to help reduce our environmental impact. How so? Let’s take a deep dive into the fabulous ways in which this celebrated, homegrown fibre can support a better fashion future.
Understanding Microplastic Pollution
Often invisible to the naked eye, microplastics are teeny-tiny plastic particles that typically measure less than 5mm in size. Originating from the likes of microbeads in personal care products (think face scrubs and exfoliants) and synthetic fibres released during washing, microplastics are a huge threat to marine life.
According to Woolmark, it’s estimated that 0.6-1.7 million tons of microfibres are released into the ocean every year and 35% of these stem directly from synthetic clothing. Crazy!
And considering a staggering 44% of consumers don’t even realise the clothes they’re wearing are made from plastics in the first place (think polyesters, acrylics and nylons), when it comes to reducing the ocean pollution at a personal level, it pays to be a tag turner and be mindful of our fashion choices at the check out.
The Merino Wool Difference
Unlike man-made materials, Merino wool is a 100% natural, renewable and biodegradable resource which forms part of the planet's natural carbon cycle.
The simple blend of air, water and grass produces Merino wool, which is a game changer when it comes to reducing microplastic pollution. Scientific studies such as the Microfibre Pollution and the Marine Biodegradation of Wool - have proven time and time again that wool readily biodegrades in marine environments, while synthetic fibres do not.
Not to mention Merino wool has a whole host of natural properties (such as being naturally stain and odour resistant), which lend itself to reducing your environmental impact in more ways than one.
This is why the wear more, wash less message is key. It’s backed by a study on best practice use and care which found reusing garments and increasing wears could reduce environmental impact by ~ 75% compared with current practices. Outstanding.
Supporting a Better Fashion Future
While World Ocean Day is a global initiative to create awareness of our natural marine ecosystems, we hope it provides a gentle reminder to consider the impact of your fashion choices at large.
So, what can you do? These are some of the simple ways you can take a stand against the harmful effects of synthetic fibres in our oceans and work towards a better fashion future for all.
- Take the time to read care labels and product descriptions
- Choose natural fibres such as Merino wool as the foundations of your wardrobe
- Focus on wear and care to keep your garments in use longer.