|▲ Fleece Fabric Clothing|
One of the most popular fashion items in winter is a fleece jacket. Fleece jackets are also called, "furry jackets," because of their fluffy fur-like fibres and are loved by many people. As fleece jackets become more popular, several companies are selling eco-friendly fleece jackets. Companies are emphasizing the eco-friendly nature of waste plastics, but are fleece jackets really eco-friendly?
Fleece originally means wool. However, it gradually began to feel like wool through other fabrics, and today's fleece generally means polyester fleece. Polyester fleece is a material similar to wool but has an artificial lint on the synthetic fiber, polyester, to improve heat retention. However, synthetic fibers emit microplastics every time they are washed. Even if waste plastics are recycled, microplastics will remain the same. In addition, the fleece fabric is woven rather than a delicate knit, so it discharges more microplastics than other fabrics during washing. P Company, which first collected discarded plastic bottles and made fleece jackets, confirmed in a 2016 study, that 1.7 grams of microplastics were emitted when washing a fleece jacket. In addition, the research team estimated that about 250,000 synthetic fibers were produced in one product as compared to five fleece jackets. However, the reason why companies can say they made eco–friendly fleece made by melting discarded plastic bottles and making threads, is that it prevents animal abuse and recycles waste plastics in the process of making the fabrics.
If you want to buy a product that emits less microplastics, you have to do some research. It is important to make sure that the product does not need to be washed frequently, and that the fabric texture is not loose, due to its strong material. You have to wash it frequently, and if the fibers are loose, the synthetic fibers will fall off a lot. Finally, it is necessary to investigate whether brands are making substantial efforts for the environment. Consumers should pay close attention to whether brands are temporarily eco-marketing for the sole purpose of sales, or if they are making continuous efforts for the environment. As consumers' interest in the environment increases, companies will try to market a variety of eco-friendly products to suit consumers.
By An So-yeon, cub-reporter email@example.com
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