About OCW

Ocean Clean Wash is a campaign initiated by the Plastic Soup Foundation in order to tackle one of the biggest sources of plastic pollution in our oceans: microfiber release from synthetic clothing.

slide4Washing machines and clothing made with synthetic fibers have changed the world in the past decades. The washing machine has brought us clean laundry without intensive labor and increased our personal hygiene. Synthetic textiles have brought a diverse range of attractive and affordable clothing. Recent new insights show that the combination of both contributes to one of the biggest environmental problems or our time: the plastic soup. As the human population grows and people use more washing machines and synthetic textiles, contamination of habitats and animals by microplastics is likely to increase.
Consequently, Plastic Soup Foundation decided to work on a campaign to address this problem and involve all the players: washing machine manufacturers, fashion brands, environmental organizations, and consumers: the Ocean Clean Wash.

Since the launch of the campaign earlier in 2016 together with G-Star RAW, Plastic Soup Foundation has built an alliance of more than 100 supporters from all over the world including NGO’s, scientists, and well-known individuals with the special help of Plastic Change from Denmark and Plastic Pollution Coalition from California. This campaign has also been approached by over 30 fashion brands with the intention to get a better insight of the scientific research about microfiber release, Mermaids Life+, and an important number of them are willing to join the campaign to solve the microfiber pollution issue. 

The logo of the Ocean Clean Wash was designed by the famous graphic designer SIT from Amsterdam.


April 2016 – Plastic Soup Foundation and G-Star RAW sign the Ocean Clean Wash Charter to stop the release of plastic microfibers from synthetic clothing.

May 2016, Copenhagen Fashion Summit – Plastic Soup Foundation presents the Ocean Clean Wash campaign during the summit as well as its 100 supporters from all over the world.

September 2016, IUCN Conference in Hawaii – Plastic Soup Foundation and Parley for the Oceans Form Alliance to end Plastic Microfiber Pollution Through “Ocean Clean Wash” Campaign. Dr. Sylvia Earle, worlds most famous Oceanographer, is present to support the campaign.

May 2017, Amsterdam – Expert workshop and press conference “Fibres from synthetic clothing disastrous for mankind and the oceans”. The final reports by Mermaids Life+ are available to the public.

August 2017 – Generation of a steering group of organizations to lead the fight against microfiber pollution from synthetic clothes.

26-29 September 2017, International Conference on Microplastic Pollution in the Mediterranean Sea in Capri (Italy) – Meeting with scientific experts and discussion of the next steps.

October 2017, publication of research paper with the Mermaids Life+ results: Evaluation of microplastic release caused by textile washing processes of synthetic fabrics, by De Falco, F., et al., in the magazine Environmental Pollution.

14 November 2017. Panel Discussion and Q&A “Fashion’s Deep Water Impacts” at the Worth Ethical Apparel Roundtable Conference 2017.

28 November 2017. Panel Discussion Ocean Film Festival: A Wave of Change in Brussels.

December 2017. Establishment of a steering group of organizations from all around the world to lead the fight against microfibers.

15 March 2018. Dialogue meeting for a sustainable textile value chain in Gothenburg, Sweden.