Fibres & Fabrics

Fashion's Impact On The World's Oceans

The fashion industry is a major contributor to microplastic pollution of the ocean. What do you need to know and what can you do about it?

Over a third (35%) of all microplastics released into the world's oceans are from synthetic textiles.1

Between half million and a million tons of plastic microfibres are discharged into wastewater each year from the washing of synthetic clothes.2

Polyester, the major synthetic fibre, now commands a 62% market share and sheds on average six times more microplastic fibres than nylon.3


Microplastics are plastic particles of less than 1mm in diameter. These are accumulating in marine habitat…

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Author
Clare Lissaman

Head of Oxfam Advisory Services at Oxfam and 2 others