Don’t you hate it when your conscience gets in the way of a good plan? That’s what has happened to us this month at Oasis HQ.
We got all excited about microfibre face cloths. They’re so soft and lovely to use on your skin and we thought perhaps our customers would like them as little gifts to go with our cleansers.
So we started doing a bit of research – looking at different colours and suppliers. Microfibre cloths are made of microfibre fabric usually containing polyester of some sort. The microfibres are thinner than human hair and highly absorbent. Sounds good we thought.
But then we came across some of the environmental concerns about microfibres and some other synthetic fabrics. An article in Vogue earlier this year even ran with the headline Why Microfibres Are The New Microbeads. Er, that doesn’t sound so good, we thought.
Anyway, it turns out there have been several studies that show fabrics of this kind shed tiny plastic fibres, also called microfibres, when you wash them. These head off down the drain and make their way into waterways. There they become part of the microplastics problem, a very large part according to several studies. These then get eaten by fish and other sea-dwelling creatures who end up with stomachs full of plastic bits.
We were surprised when we found this out. But it sounds like a huge problem so would a few more microfibre cloths make that much difference? Well, probably not. Us not buying some microfibre cloths is a really tiny part of a really big issue. But if more of us did small things more often, perhaps all our efforts would add up to something positive.
Anyway, for now we’re researching some alternatives to microfibre cloths. If we find something lovely and soft and effective that doesn’t harm the environment, we’ll let you all know.