Instead of so-called "greenwashing" through non-transparent company communication, we would rather deal with the green washing of synthetic clothing. Per wash cycle of a synthetic garment, microplastic particles are released and enter the earth's water cycle via wastewater. Many companies and environmental activists are therefore calling for a complete ban on nylon or polyester products from the textile sector. Today we would like to explain in more detail why we nevertheless rely on recycled products and why weconsider the upcycling of plastic waste as an essential step towards a greener future.
What does greenwashing actually mean?
Surely one or the other reader has heard the term "greenwashing" in connection with sustainable fashion - after all, it is an expression that is used more and more often when it comes to the ethical principles of a brand. It means advertising with the attributes of sustainability without actually actively doing anything to protect the environment and not communicating this transparently. Often, companies only see the benefits of the "green wave" that is created in brand competition and surf it until consumers realize that the company's philosophy and supply chain may not be as sustainable as claimed.
As a consumer, it is therefore important to take a close look at the extent to which a company is committed to sustainable standards in the office itself, but above all with regard to supply chains and production. On the other hand, those responsible in companies have the important task of critically scrutinizing their own goals and measures again and again, so as not to be drawn into the vortex of "greenwashing" themselves.
Today, we would therefore like to draw attention to a particularly sensitive issue that directly affects us as a sustainable fashion label: the proportion of microplastics in synthetic clothing. For every wash cycle of a synthetic garment, microplastic particles are released and enter the earth's water cycle via wastewater. Why we at Lanasia nevertheless rely on recycled products and consider the upcycling of plastic waste as an essential step towards a greener future, you can find out here:
Recycling as a necessary step to eliminate the global plastic problem.
As a young fashion label, we have been producing all swimwear and fitness fashion collections exclusively with recycled nylon fabrics from market leaders ECONYL® and REPREVE® since our company was founded.
As you can read in our blogpost about "The fabrics of the future benefits can also be gained from this extremely robust and hard-wearing property of the material. The possibilities for recycling, and therefore design options, are unlimited once the material is cleaned and reintroduced into the material cycle. The durability against environmental influences, the longevity and reusability of the fibers as well as the positive environmental balance clearly speak for the use of recycled, synthetic fibers such as polymer or nylon. After all, the existing portion of plastic is no longer disappearing from our earth - but it must be removed from the environment and used innovatively!
Microplastics as a challenge for the future
Despite the multitude of benefits that recycled synthetic fabrics offer, the problem of microplastic particles hovers in the air - or rather in the water. That's because microparticles of nylon fibers are released from textile products with each wash cycle, eventually entering the Earth's water cycle. Marine animals and other creatures often mistake the small particles for food, which can eventually cause damage to the digestive tract or even block food intake due to the plastic particles. Microparticles of plastic can also act as a means of transport for pollutants and pathogens. Thus, the problem of microplastic pollution not only poses a threat to marine life, but also poses enormous risks to a wide variety of ecosystems.
Dilemma or vision for the future?
The dilemma is in the details - on the one hand, around 30 million tons of plastic end up in our oceans every year. Exposure to salt water and sunlight causes larger pieces of plastic to gradually decompose into microplastics. That's why Lanasia is particularly concerned about recovering ocean plastic in the long term to prevent worse effects on the ecosystem. The recyclable PET portion of the plastic waste can then be reintroduced into the material cycle to provide designers and producers with a new foundation for fabrics and designs, representing a true revolution in the fashion industry - which is, after all, considered the third largest polluter in the world.
On the other hand, however, we also face the problem of microplastics coming off recycled textiles during the washing process. Universal filtration systems that filter microplastic particles out of wastewater are currently not yet sufficiently developed, so for the time being we have to look for solutions ourselves!
Commitment to innovative methods in the product sector
So how can we, as an ethically responsible fashion label, help counteract plastic pollution in the ocean while ensuring that no new microplastics enter our water cycle?
With our recycled collections we are committed to returning recyclable plastic to the material cycle in a sensible way. At the same time, however, it is also important to us to protect our ecosystem from microplastic pollution. We are therefore keeping a close eye on new technologies and filter systems that help to filter microplastics out of the water. We are actively trying to create awareness for this problem among our consumers and would like to createtransparency and attention through open communication .
We have therefore collected some tips for you to help prevent microplastics from coming off during the wash cycle:
Tips for washing synthetic clothes ethically
Only wash your clothes when you have collected enough textiles. The less you wash, the less water and electricity you use. In addition, the amount of microplastics emitted is greatly reduced!
Use the cold wash cycle for your laundry as often as possible. Heating the water not only requires more energy - compared to the cold wash cycle, significantly more microplastic particles are released.
Empty the strainer in the washing machine into your trash can instead of down the drain. This prevents larger fibers that have already been sieved out from entering the wastewater.
Avoid fabric softener: Adding fabric softener tends to result in more dissolved fibers from textiles, so it's better to just leave it out!
Use microplastic filters for your own washing machine: The washing bag "Guppy FriendCora Ball
Spin your laundry only on a low rotation. The gentle spin cycle causes significantly fewer microplastic fibers to come off.
Do you have more tips and suggestions or already have experience with a water filter in your washing machine? Let us know and write us via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us on Whatsapp +41 79 182 5959.