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Microplastics from synthetic products are polluting our oceans

The topic of many a dinner table discussion, mass media press conference, and political debate, environmental pollution is one of the biggest challenges of our time.

According to research conducted in 2017, 8 million tons of plastic is entering our oceans each year (Smillie, Susan 2017). That's the equivalent of a garbage truck per minute. Unbeknownst to the innocent consumer, these huge waste deposits are damaging marine wildlife and posing a genuine threat to our global ecology.

A large portion of ocean-bound plastic waste is made up of microplastics.

These tiny fragments of plastic come from synthetic furnishings, mass market beauty products, and other plastic items that have broken down over time.

Reduce your microplastic footprint with mindful purchasing

Sustainability efforts often revolve around the three words; reduce, reuse, and recycle. With ‘reduce' having the most significant positive impact, and recycling having the least.

One way to reduce your impact is by changing your buying behaviour.

Ask about the recycling options for textiles in your home furnishings, or investigate other ways your retired items can be disposed of in an environmentally effective way.

The easiest way to reduce your contribution to the oceanic trash pit is to avoid purchasing plastic-based products in the first place.

Choose wool for whales

Isn't a whale just the sheep of the sea? Well, maybe not. However, if they could, whales would give wool their seal of approval. Products made from wool are biodegradable, more durable than synthetic alternatives, and renewable by nature. Companies developing synthetic fabrics have been trying to replicate the performance of wool for years. They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, but why would you mess with what nature has already perfected? Under normal conditions, the structure of wool fibre protects it from bacterial and fungal attack. However, after years of service, wool items can be buried in soil and composted to break down naturally.

Unlike synthetic fabrics that haunt the world as microplastics, wool naturally decomposes and adds valuable nutrients to the soil – a perfectly natural form of recycling — no shipments to offshore plants, no rinsing, and no landfill. Just return wool to the soil and let it do its thing. In comparison, synthetic materials do not readily biodegrade and will remain intact for many years to come.

Three places your choices can reduce plastics in landfill and the oceans:

  1. Choose wool carpet instead of synthetic carpet and wool rugs for living areas

  2. Choose a wool fabric for furniture covering and textiles.  Felted wool is on trend.

  3. Choose a wool fabric for your curtains

Other places you can use wool:

  • Consider wool insulation rather than fibreglass

Put simply, wool is a more sustainable choice. It comes from nature, and it returns to nature.

While we don't have all the answers, we do believe we have a duty of care to the generations that will come after us.

Let the wildlife breathe easy and reduce ocean-bound-waste one purchase at a time.

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