Danish Fashion Institute joins international Coalition to Stop the Microfiber!

Copenhagen, 12 May 2016 – By 2025, there will be 1 ton of plastic for every 3 tons of fish in the oceans, and by 2050 the weight of plastic will overtake that of fish. The cause of this future scenario partly lies in our clothing and the plastic microfibers it sheds in every wash. A powerful, fast-growing global coalition is forming to stop this source of plastic pollution in its tracks through the Ocean Clean Wash campaign. Today, the Danish Fashion Institute publicly joined this coalition during the Copenhagen Fashion Summit.

Jonas Eder-Hansen, development director of the Danish Fashion Institute, recognizes that summits like the Copenhagen Fashion Summit are an important place for manufacturers and industries to collaborate and address issues like plastic microfibers.

"It's a great honor to have the Danish Fashion Institute aboard with what I hope will be the biggest alliance ever to stop a huge source of ocean pollution," says Maria Westerbos, founder of Ocean Clean Wash and director of the Plastic Soup Foundation. Leading European research (http://life-mermaids.eu/en/) recently showed that a single synthetic fleece jacket releases an incredible 1 million microfibers every time it is washed, and a single load of washing can shed up to twenty million microfibers. "We must all come together to create methods and innovations to stop this as soon as we can,” Westerbos continued.

The Plastic Soup Foundation, from Amsterdam, has partnered with Plastic Change from Copenhagen and Plastic Pollution Coalition from Los Angeles to build the coalition around the Ocean Clean Wash. The Plastic Soup Foundation is also currently leading the successful Beat the Microbead campaign which has brought together over 80 members in a worldwide coalition and resulted in a ban on plastic microbeads in personal care products in the United States and continued pressure for such a ban in Europe.

Since denim brand G-Star RAW became the first company to sign the Ocean Clean Wash charter on 25 April 2016, already over 70 organizations, environmental leaders, and scientists have signed a Declaration of Support for this important initiative. Leaders across the world, including Dianna Cohen of Plastic Pollution Coalition, Henrik Beha Pedersen of Plastic Change, photographer Chris Jordan, Captain Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, Dr. Wallace J Nichols, musician Jack Johnson, and many others, have added their names to the declaration calling on fashion companies, washing machine manufacturers and the textile industry to sign the charter and join forces for an Ocean Clean Wash. The signatories of this initiative will contribute to the development of innovative solutions to prevent the release of plastic fibres from garments in the future, such as fabrics that do not release microfibers, a protective coating for textiles, or washing machine filters.

Note for the press: After the Summit there will be a Q&A at the IT University in the building next to the Copenhagen Fashion Summit. You will be guided there.

More information:    www.oceancleanwash.org

Plastic Soup Foundation
Maria Westerbos – Director
E: maria@plasticsoupfoundation.org

Plastic Change
Henrik Beha Pederson
E: hbp@plasticchange.org

Plastic Pollution Coalition
Jane Patton
E: jane@plasticpollutioncoalition.org

Plastic Soup Foundation and G-Star RAW join forces

Stop the Microfiber!

Amsterdam, 25 April 2016 – In 2025, there is one ton of plastic for every three tons of fish in the oceans, and in 2050 the weight of plastic has overtaken that of fish. The cause of this future scenario partly lies in our clothing. G-Star and the Plastic Soup Foundation are now joining forces to stop this process in its tracks with a battle against the microfiber.

Machine washing of clothes is a big source of plastic pollution in the oceans. Every time we do the laundry, synthetic garments shed small plastic fibers that end up in the water and pollute rivers and oceans.

“Leading European research (http://life-mermaids.eu/en/) recently showed that a fleece releases an incredible 1 million microfibers every time it is washed,” says Maria Westerbos, director of the Plastic Soup Foundation. “If you imagine that every day a couple of billion people around the world wash their clothing and that almost every item of clothing contains plastic nowadays, you can easily see why it is imperative to deal with this cause of the plastic soup immediately.” Westerbos continues. “G-Star is the first fashion brand that recognises and supports the need for innovation.”

The Plastic Soup Foundation and G-Star are calling on other fashion companies, washing machine manufacturers and the textile industry to support the international Ocean Clean Wash.  The signatories of this initiative will contribute to the development of one or more innovative solutions to prevent the release of plastic fibres from garments in the future, such as fabrics that do not release microfibers or washing machine filters that capture the released fibers.

Frouke Bruinsma, CR Director of G-Star says: “With RAW for the Oceans we were the first to make denim from recycled ocean plastic and we are now starting to completely replace the 10% conventional polyester in our collection with recycled plastic. We want to continue to create progress though sustainable innovation and join forces with the Plastic Soup Foundation to battle the microfiber problem. Only a strong alliance of dedicated stakeholders around the world can turn the tide. Everyone is welcome to join us.”

Plastic Soup Foundation:
Maria Westerbos – Director
E: maria@plasticsoupfoundation.org

Jeroen Dagevos – Head of Programmes
E: jeroen@plasticsoupfoundation.org

G-Star:
Jelle Boddaert – PR manager the Netherlands
E: Jelle-Boddaert@g-star.com

Maaike Kokke – CR manager
E: maaike-kokke@g-star.com