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HONG KONG – Microfibre pollution from textiles is a growing problem for the fashion industry. In recent years, numerous research papers have been produced about this issue, linking plastic waste pollution in the ocean directly with the clothing we wear and documenting evidence of microfibres being found in all four corners of the globe.

Microfibres are a type of microplastic less than 5mm in length which are shed by clothing and textiles during domestic and industrial wash cycles. These fibres pass through water treatment systems into waterways, where they can absorb harmful chemicals before entering the food chain and drinking water.

The extent of harmful effects to sea life – and subsequently humans – from ingesting these microscoptic fibres is not yet fully known but some preliminary findings do suggest harm and interference to sea-life.

This issue is now under the spotlight of regulatory authorities globally as well as stakeholders in the fashion industry. Fashion brands and retailers are on standby, recognising that this global problem requires a coordinated, consistent solution.

In the first instance, for brands, retailers, and manufacturers to reduce levels of plastic pollution from textiles − and to stay a step ahead of legislation − it is essential to understand the shedding potential of different fibres and fabrics.

To help the fashion industry gain an understanding of the scale and nature of this challenge, Eurofins Softlines & Leather offers a range of microplastic testing services. These are carried out using its industry leading technical expertise and global laboratory network.

One of the methods offered is The Microfibre Consortium (TMC) test method. The Microfibre Consortium is a membership-based organisation that works with the textile industry to minimise fibre fragmentation and release. In partnership with the University of Leeds and the European Outdoor Group (EoG), they have developed the standardised test method that is also being considered by European and international standards organisations.

Eurofins, as a third-party laboratory member of TMC, can deliver the newly-developed TMC standardised test method, which can reliably measure the amount of fibre fragments released from textiles during domestic laundering.

Apart from the TMC standard, Eurofins has been running in-house microplastic shedding quantification tests since 2019, and working with retailers in determining the scale of microfibre release as well as helping in the process of finding solutions to microfibre pollution.

To help the fashion and textile value chain gain a greater understanding of microfibre pollution, new testing methods and potential solutions, Eurofins Softlines & Leather is running a webinar on 26 October (Session 1) and 27 Oct (Session 2).

This webinar will explore the latest regulatory landscape on microplastics in Europe, as well as explaining the requirements of the test methods available (TMC, ISO and AATCC). Representatives from the laboratories will be happy to share their experience on this and take live questions on microplastics.

Whether you are from the sourcing or quality team of a retailer, incorporating more facets into your sustainability policy, or a designer running your own eco-business, don’t miss this webinar.

Session 1 – 26 October │ 9:00am (UK Time) https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6164904940382787596?source=Apparel-insider

Session 2 – 27 October │ 1:00pm (EDT) https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5396174788755282444?source=Apparel-insider+S2

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