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An Update on Microfiber Pollution

In June 2016, we provided a comprehensive update on Patagonia’s work to investigate the emerging issue of ocean pollution from tiny fibers, which often originate from synthetic textiles (such as nylon, acrylic or polyester) that are used in products available to consumers around the world. The second study, which has only just begun, is being conducted in partnership with North Carolina State University with the goals of better understanding characteristics in fibers and fabrics that lead to microfiber release and developing a rapid test method to assess the potential of fabrics to shed during laundering—both of which will help Patagonia and our industry conduct R&D for new materials moving forward. In the coming weeks we’ll begin providing every customer who purchases a synthetic item from our retail stores or with clear information about how to care for any synthetic garment—not just ours—to limit the shedding of microfibers in the wash and keeping what does shed out of the ocean. In addition to new research and customer education, we’ve tested additional consumer laundering solutions (including Wexco’s Filtrol 160, a highly effective washing machine filter) and are looking forward to the Rozalia Project’s microfiber catcher ball becoming available to customers later this year.

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