Fleece a major source of plastic pollution

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johnhens
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Fleece a major source of plastic pollution

Post by johnhens » Mon Jul 25, 2016 9:33 am

I have been wearing fleece for a long time as an insulator, dries quickly, warm when wet, good insulator, comfortable. Came across this article. May have to rethink fleece.

http://www.outsideonline.com/2091876/pa ... le-2091876

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Ingo
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Re: Fleece a major source of plastic pollution

Post by Ingo » Mon Jul 25, 2016 9:52 am

Interesting. Problem is, what do you replace it with? "Another surprise: The nylon shell jacket actually released a comparable amount of fiber to the fleece jackets in some tests, and even more in other tests..."


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Re: Fleece a major source of plastic pollution

Post by johnhens » Mon Jul 25, 2016 10:12 am

For my base layers I have been going more with wool products. Not sure how they stack up, natural fiber. For most of my insulation layers I have been switching to down as it is lighter and warmer. It will be interesting to follow this as it develops.

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head2north
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Re: Fleece a major source of plastic pollution

Post by head2north » Mon Jul 25, 2016 10:57 am

I like the extra qualities of merino wool - antibacterial, softness, and water wicking properties

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Tom
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Re: Fleece a major source of plastic pollution

Post by Tom » Tue Jul 26, 2016 6:03 pm

Wait... We're supposed to wash our outer layers/fleece? :shock:

I certainly like wool for cooler seasons and wear it much of the year when not on hiking trips, but it's weight and overall poor packability have always made me hesitant to bring it backpacking. (Beyond socks. Gotta love wool socks.)

Hydrophobic down has been a game changer, IMHO. Not sure of the environmental trade off, of course, of treating the down... But hard to question it's ability to keep you warm and how easily it packs. I added a Big Agnes Meaden jacket to my inventory this winter, and brought it to the Island in July. During a cold, foggy evening, it was the perfect layer. (Pretty awesome pillow, too.) It also packs to smaller than a softball.

I'm guessing the synthetics industry will look to innovate and find a way to make fleece, et al, less friable. Just think if they could develop a fill insulation that doesn't eventually break down after numerous compressions - They would solve the Achilles heal of sleeping bags!

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Re: Fleece a major source of plastic pollution

Post by fonixmunkee » Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:32 pm

What DOESN'T pollute the environment any more?

OK, all smartass-ness aside, this isn't surprising to me. I've always been wary of fleece construction ever since I watched my wife touch her Patagonia fleece to a hot piece of metal and watched it melt like a milk jug in a fire. It terrified me, and I didn't feel OK with that on my skin. I've been sticking with merino wool, cotton, or other organic-based clothing as best as possible.

One nice take-away from this article is that the author of the research, Patagonia, is serious about fixing stuff like this. So if they find that their fleeces are a serious source of pollutants, they'll fix it. I personally will spend a bit more money on clothing that is made in a sustainable fashion, or is environment-forward.
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Re: Fleece a major source of plastic pollution

Post by JavaHiker » Fri Aug 05, 2016 6:43 am

I was surprised that the article did not note that much of the fleece made by Patagonia, as well as many other quality manufactures such as North Face, is composed of recycled plastics. As such, we are at least statically retaining some of the world’s existing plastic materials from the environment while research continues. In the mean time please use your own cotton bags for grocery shopping and support positive recycling processes...
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Re: Fleece a major source of plastic pollution

Post by DonNewcomb » Wed Aug 17, 2016 3:17 pm

This is just one source of microplastics in the environment. One of the most egregious are the micro-beads used in cosmetics and soaps.

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