You read that right, what you wear every day is adding to ocean pollution, and it comes down to the way we wash them too. Researchers have found that up to 700,000 microplastics can be released with each wash cycle with plastic-based clothing. That’s a lot for each time you wear something!

legs wearing jeans and shoes dangling out of large dryer in a laundry mat

Researchers have also found that some clothing produce more microplastics than others in each wash, the worst being polyester blends and acrylic. What are these microplastics anyway? They are tiny strands of plastic fabric, about the width of human hair that get released with each wash. This makes it hard to, if impossible, to filter in our sewage system, and winds up being consumed by marine wildlife mistaking it for food. These plastics then build up in the stomachs of animals until they die.

Blond woman looking into sunset, she is wearing boho chic hippie look. Long black sheer skirt with a white top

So what can we do? The first solution is to consider how many times you actually need to wash your clothing? Pants and tops can often be worn more than once before needing a wash. Save the one time use for undergarments that absorb most of your sweat. And consider buying clothing that is more sustainable and doesn’t produce so much waste, like organic cotton or vegan leather.