Fleece clothing conundrum

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Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby Suelle » December 12th, 2017, 9:17 am

We now know that man-made fleece clothing is bad for the environment. When washed, or while being worn, microfibres break off and eventually enter the sea, where they get into the food chain, cause pollution and harm sea creatures.

But what do we do with them? If we stop wearing fleece clothing, how can we dispose of them? Donating to charity just makes someone else responsible for the problem. Putting into the rubbish collection doesn't seem much better, as they'll break down in landfill. Burning releases CO2 and other noxious chemicals.

Apparently you can buy bags to wash fleeces in, which collect loose fibres, but no-one tells you how to dispose the fibres afterwards. :rolleyes:
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby Ratatouille » December 12th, 2017, 9:50 am

It is a thought isn't it Sue?

There is another coundrum. True vegans say they will not wear natural materials like silk, wool and leather. When asked they say there are perectly good man-made alternative - like fleece, plastic shoes etc which, as you point out eventually harm animals. Life is sometime complicated.
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby aero280 » December 12th, 2017, 9:57 am

There’s fibre reinforced concrete. That would entomb them and make the concrete stronger too!
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby StokeySue » December 12th, 2017, 10:15 am

There has been a WI discussion, inconclusive so far
So I'm really not sure
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby scullion » December 12th, 2017, 10:27 am

Wash the fleece by hand, strain the water and put the strainings into landfill with all the other milk bottles that haven't been turned into fleece.
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby Badger's mate » December 12th, 2017, 10:28 am

Environmental issues are often very complicated and indeed subject to fashion. For example, we rarely hear about acid rain anymore when once it was a major concern. We used to be told that anyone choosing petrol vehicles in preference to Diesel was costing the Earth. Now Diesel is the work of the Devil. We smugly castigate the Chinese for their carbon footprint having reduced ours by outsourcing almost all our industrial manufacturing to them.

Most plastics are a potential problem, through ubiquity and lack of degradability. I cause a certain amount of hilarity amongst Mrs B's friends as my clothes are often cotton or wool and are thrown on the compost heap after use. Every so often we find the elastic from an old pair of drawers in the compost. Stretch cords decompose to a zip and an elastic skeleton. I have however, got plenty of polycotton shirts, polyester sweatshirts, synthetic travel clothes and waterproofs that will be a potential source of pollution for decades after I've used them. If you live in a district where refuse goes to an incinerator the problem is solved, but incineration brings its own issues.

Plastics are the best option for all sorts of purposes, but are used at a cost. In any sensible world, they would be used solely when they were the optimum solution, reused and recycled for as long as possible before thoughtful disposal through incineration, encapsulation or deep burial, albeit the last two merely defer the problem. However, in the real world you can only be as thoughtful as possible in what you do, making informed choices. This is itself difficult as the information changes, both with increased knowledge and the whims of fashion. It's no use anyone beating themselves up over it, or worse still being holier than thou towards others.
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby PatsyMFagan » December 12th, 2017, 11:38 am

I had the same conundrum a week or so ago when I decided I needed a new duvet ... Of course, the very best are those with feathers/down (in various ratios of duck/goose) however, not sure I am comfortable with how the feathers are collected (not knowing anything about this of course), so have settled for a polyester one, but now have the worry of disposal of this when the time comes ... :o :? :aww:
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby mum-at-the-oven » December 12th, 2017, 11:44 am

I have wondered about duvets and pillows!

Many households only have a bin collection once a week or once a fortnight which won't be emptied if the lid can't close. The recycling centres don't want them and many people buy new pillows every year - so what happens to the old ones?
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby suffolk » December 12th, 2017, 12:08 pm

PatsyMFagan wrote: not sure I am comfortable with how the feathers are collected (not knowing anything about this of course),


John Lewis down and feathers should be ok. https://www.johnlewis.com/inspiration-a ... n-products.

We don't use feather or down because they affect OH's chest but because I was interested I phoned Dunelm Customer Services to find out where they source their feathers and down from for their 'made in Britain' cushion pads. They're getting back to me by email.
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby PatsyMFagan » December 12th, 2017, 1:32 pm

suffolk wrote:
PatsyMFagan wrote: not sure I am comfortable with how the feathers are collected (not knowing anything about this of course),


John Lewis down and feathers should be ok. https://www.johnlewis.com/inspiration-a ... n-products.

We don't use feather or down because they affect OH's chest but because I was interested I phoned Dunelm Customer Services to find out where they source their feathers and down from for their 'made in Britain' cushion pads. They're getting back to me by email.


That's good to know. however, the polyester one from Slumberdown won the vote and arrived yesterday ... it really is as soft and light as Zosh recommended ... was only £20 and will last me a few years I reckon. :tu: :bounce:
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby suffolk » December 12th, 2017, 1:34 pm

Glad you've got something cozy to snuggle down with Patsy :D :tu:
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby Ratatouille » December 12th, 2017, 1:52 pm

Snuggle ye well Pat!
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby earthmaiden » December 12th, 2017, 5:58 pm

It's a minefield isn't it!

Unless they are really awful, some charities for refugees, homeless etc are grateful for duvets, otherwise I think people just take them to the tip in desperation.
A couple of years ago I mentioned during the year that I would love down pillows - meaning of course really good ones. DS bought me duck feather pillows that Christmas but left the price on, they were very cheap which surprised me - until i got them on the bed and realised they were awful feathers with a lot of quill and smelt horrible. I use them but dread to think where the ducks originated . One day I shall have some more luxurious ones!

I think Badger's Mate has said it all really. Although we have come on in some ways over the past few years there is a long way to go before the matter is really taken seriously ... a bit late :( .
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby Zosherooney » December 12th, 2017, 6:02 pm

We all seem to have so many worries in our lives...... this seems to be a little over the top, and will ideas change over time, just like the eat butter - don't eat butter scenario of a few years back..... Sorry to be honest but, I cannot go to this extent.... Will it be plastic windows next against real wood ?????? Sometimes we just need to get on with life.. while we have it. :| :|
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby StokeySue » December 12th, 2017, 6:08 pm

It's not just your fleece gilet and jacket is it?
I was thinking I don't have a lot, then I looked down at my "velour" dressing gown - it's actually fleece

And what about all those microfibre e-cloths? e for eco, supposedly planet friendly as not requiring so much in the way of chemical cleaning products

Back to soap and old T-shirts I guess
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby Suelle » December 12th, 2017, 6:33 pm

StokeySue wrote:It's not just your fleece gilet and jacket is it?
I was thinking I don't have a lot, then I looked down at my "velour" dressing gown - it's actually fleece

And what about all those microfibre e-cloths? e for eco, supposedly planet friendly as not requiring so much in the way of chemical cleaning products

Back to soap and old T-shirts I guess


And Thinsulate gloves - which get washed quite frequently.
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby Hope » December 12th, 2017, 7:17 pm

There is supposed to be a special bag you can put them in which will collect all the microfibres that are released during washing.
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby Pepper Pig » December 12th, 2017, 7:24 pm

Pass them on to the Dogs Trust or other animal charities.
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby Suelle » December 12th, 2017, 10:02 pm

Hope wrote:There is supposed to be a special bag you can put them in which will collect all the microfibres that are released during washing.


I know, but how do you safely dispose of the collected fibres?
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby StokeySue » December 12th, 2017, 10:14 pm

Right
I searched around for the bag
It's called Guppy Friend
You can order it from the manufacturer but it's not widely sold in the UK
It's quite expensive (upwards of £17)
The recommendation is that as the fibre volume is quite small,you hang on to it until you get clear local instructions, but it can be recycled with plastic milk bottles if accepted locally or incinerated (not perfect but better than inwaste water)
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby Herbidacious » December 13th, 2017, 3:58 pm

There must be some use for old duvets in the garden... or animal shelters as bedding?
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby suffolk » December 13th, 2017, 3:59 pm

Yes, animal shelters are very grateful for them ... but they have to be disposed of eventually ...............
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby Herbidacious » December 13th, 2017, 5:01 pm

Indeed.
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby PatsyMFagan » December 13th, 2017, 6:04 pm

Ratatouille wrote:Snuggle ye well Pat!


I was too hot last night ! :o :aww: :oops: :lol:
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby PatsyMFagan » December 13th, 2017, 6:06 pm

Pepper Pig wrote:Pass them on to the Dogs Trust or other animal charities.


Our local one is refusing any further bedding for the time being, however, just along from there is a camp set up by protestors at the impending HS2 development ... I have already passed one quilt on to them, along with a flask of soup that I shall probably never see again (the flask that is ;) )
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby Pepper Pig » December 13th, 2017, 7:43 pm

suffolk wrote:Yes, animal shelters are very grateful for them ... but they have to be disposed of eventually ...............


Of course they do but their lives have been usefully extended.
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby suffolk » December 13th, 2017, 7:53 pm

Pepper Pig wrote:
suffolk wrote:Yes, animal shelters are very grateful for them ... but they have to be disposed of eventually ...............


Of course they do but their lives have been usefully extended.


Yes :) , but part of the subject of this thread is the conundrum we face when we make the decision that the article cannot have its useful life extended any further ... handing a duvet to a charity (however useful they may find it) is simply passing our problem on to them ... and they may be even less able to dispose of it in an environmentally sound way than we are.

The answer may be that in the future all such things have to be disposed of properly by licensed disposal contractors, who will charge for this ... as happens at the moment with asbestos, white goods, car tyres etc.
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby Badger's mate » December 14th, 2017, 10:18 am

There is supposed to be a special bag you can put them in which will collect all the microfibres that are released during washing.


Whilst it's better than nothing, I would imagine that if the bag weave were coarse enough to allow the contents to be efficiently washed, it wouldn't trap all the fragments, surely?

Scully's suggestion of hand washing is as good as any, as is her point that we all discard far more plastic than is washed out of clothing. Wherever it ends up, it has the potential for a negative impact.

It just goes to prove that although we throw things away, there's no such place as 'away'.
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby Herbidacious » November 9th, 2018, 10:36 am

At $29 a ball I might want an independent study showing that they work. That said, apparently they collect cat hairs! Worth it for that alone...?
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby Lokelani » November 9th, 2018, 5:26 pm

I was also going to suggest dog rescue or kennels for fleece blankets or duvets.

A lot of our dog's beds or mats, ones I've made or bought are made of fleece as are a lot of the tops we wear instead of jumpers. One of the main advantages I find in fleece is just how quickly & easily it washes & dries. By the time it's been spun it's practically dry, a short while on the line & it's done. So in that way they're good for the environment, no hours in a tumble drier. Other than fleece I've always loved natural fibres as I feel the heat, & most of our clothes still are. It is indeed a conundrum, thinking about going back to washing heavy cotton sweatshirts & jumpers that need to be dried flat, maybe turning up the heating as they're not as warm...To say nothing of the higher cost of cotton, which is becoming trickier to find now not blended with modal or something else.
Bamboo was said to be environment friendly but then you read that it has to have so many treatments that is not necessarily the case.
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby Herbidacious » November 9th, 2018, 6:07 pm

Not sure you can offset saving energy against putting plastics into the food chain, can you...?

I hardly have any fleeces - just a blanket and a dressing gown - and I never put clothes in the tumble dryer - only towels and sheets. I use a low energy heated drying rack to dry clothes when there isn't enough room to put them all on radiator racks in the winter. I don't have anything that needs to be dried flat... or if I do, they don't get dried that way. Most of my clothes are made of natural fibres (apart from the dress made from recycled plastic :shock: ) But, some of my cotton jersey things contain some lycra, which is problematic. I really could live without it, but as you say, lokelani, it's actually not trivial to find jersey/cotton without it in these days.

Re 'we all discard far more plastic than is washed out of clothing', I thought the issue with fleeces was that the particle are very very tiny and thus are ingested. Plastic yoghurt pots and bags etc. floating in the sea is a problem but it's not the same problem is it?

Pollution issues aside, we will run out of fossil fuels and be forced to find viable alternatives. If we muck up the oceans it might not be so easy to fix.

It is a genuine question about whether one can meaningfully offset one negative impact on the environment against another.

I may buy one of these cora balls anyway. Would be worth it as a cat hair magnet.
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby StokeySue » November 9th, 2018, 6:12 pm

Herbidacious wrote:At $29 a ball I might want an independent study showing that they work. That said, apparently they collect cat hairs! Worth it for that alone...?

I looked them up
Cora Balls have been shown in an independent test to remove around 25% of the microfibres - even their own publicity says up to one third
They are available in the UK but they cost £25.49, which is quite a lot for a chunk of recycled plastic

Guppyfriend bags are out of stock it seems - but if available they cost £25 and they are quite small, 50 x 74 cm, no gusset. Surfers against sewage suggest using two for a full wash, but I still doubt that would take a full load, and I’m actually not sure one would take my “velour” dressing gown, it’s quite bulky

Still seeking a good solution
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby Lokelani » November 10th, 2018, 12:51 pm

Herbidacious wrote:Not sure you can offset saving energy against putting plastics into the food chain, can you...?.


Indeed different issues, I was thinking of environmental issues as a whole with the energy scenario. No doubt it is going to be increasingly difficult to manage them all. I've also never been a fan of tumble driers & haven't used one for decades, being a fan of radiators, Lakeland drying airers & a dehumidifier. I optimistically tell myself that it is better for the lycra that as you say appears in most cotton garments, even M&S knickers!!! :shock:
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby Ratatouille » November 10th, 2018, 1:02 pm

I swear by my lakeland heated airer for those days when I can't hang stuff outside in the sun. Most of my clothes are natural fabric but even that doesn't make them environmentally friendly. perhaps the only solution is to embrace naturalism :lol: :lol:
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby Amber » November 11th, 2018, 11:41 pm

Or naturism ;) .

(But maybe not in November :o .
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby Zosherooney » November 12th, 2018, 7:07 am

I too, parted with my tumble drier more than 10 years ago, I only used it in winter when the rads. were on anyway, and none too often at at? Try to dry washing outside and then bring it in to air off. I am hopeful that before the winter is over I shall have the use of my Pyroclassic and that will (should) act as a fantastic airer.

I am hot happy with woolen jumpers and have a lot of fleece - I scratch a lot if I wear woolen stuff. :shock:
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby PatsyMFagan » November 12th, 2018, 9:55 am

Zosherooney wrote:I am hot happy with woolen jumpers and have a lot of fleece - I scratch a lot if I wear woolen stuff.


I can't wear wool, however fine, even over a shirt .. and daughter is allergic to it too as I discovered when I put a little hat on her as a baby and she got a rash the same shape as the hat (it had a little peak at the front)

Even looking at something that looks like wool makes me squirm :( :aww: :td:
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby Herbidacious » November 12th, 2018, 5:11 pm

Yes I have the Lakeland dryer too!

Rats you would have to turn the heating up, though, if you embraced naturism? Or maybe not in your neck of the French woods?

I love having stuff dried outside, but it's tricky to do it successfully other than in summer as I am not around to run out and bring it in if it starts raining (and of course, there are all the bonfires and barbecues at the weekends :twisted: ) I get peculiar but extreme satisfaction pegging things out. (Less keen on bringing them in, though, for some reason.)
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Re: Fleece clothing conundrum

Postby Badger's mate » November 13th, 2018, 2:44 pm

Re 'we all discard far more plastic than is washed out of clothing', I thought the issue with fleeces was that the particle are very very tiny and thus are ingested. Plastic yoghurt pots and bags etc. floating in the sea is a problem but it's not the same problem is it?


Unfortunately it is, albeit over different timescales. The long term fate of discarded plastics, unless buried or incinerated, will be to eventually start breaking up under UV degradation and wave action. Small bits will be ingested by marine life. The stuff being eaten by seabirds isn't micro fibres, though they probably have plenty of those too in their diet through eating contaminated prey.

I have got a reusable bag from a major supermarket. It is made from woven polypropylene and has been used for a few years. The weave is coming apart and the threads are breaking up into little pieces and falling off the bag like miniature confetti. I believe it is called 'The Big Green Bag' :(
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