Guppyfriend is one of the only solutions on the market to the significant issue of microplastics released when synthetic clothes are washed.
Of course the best solution is to not buy synthetic clothing and buy from sustainable clothing brands. However, this is unlikely to happen any time soon. Synthetic fabrics like polyester have provided cheap and durable clothes that make up the majority of most wardrobes. From party dresses to business suits to Halloween costumes, synthetics are a massive global fashion tide.
However it is the tides of the sea that are also circulating their dangerous cost. When these clothes are washed, thousands of microplastic fibres are released and ultimately find their way to the oceans. There they enter the food chain as well as affecting delicate eco-systems like coral reefs. The effects of microplastics are still not understood and are undergoing a significant amount of research. It could be that to most species the plastic is inert and causes no harm. However it seems unlikely that so much contamination won’t lead to longer term harm.
We can all try to buy more natural fibres like cotton, but getting the world to follow is very unlikely. That is at least until oil stocks run low and force the price of synthetic fabrics up to a point where they are at the same level as natural fibres. By that time who knows what state our environment will be in.
Guppyfriend is a laundry bag that filters out any microplastics shed from clothing. You half-fill the bag with clothes and seal it shut. After washing, you remove the clothes while they are still wet and leave behind the fibres which get stuck in the seams of the bag. You then remove the fluff and dispose of it in the bin.
Guppyfriend acknowledges that this is far from a perfect solution, and is merely one measure to combine with reducing our reliance on synthetic fibres. However, they also say the laundry bag draws attention to the plastic that otherwise would have been washed away.