Aligning the textile industry towards the mitigation of microfibre pollution

Kelly J. Sheridan*, Anna Bateman, Elliot Bland, Charline Ducas, Sophie Mather

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Microfibre pollution, resulting from fibre fragmentation of textiles, poses a significant challenge. The cause has often been attributed to synthetic clothing and their laundering, but the issue is much more complex. All textiles, natural, man-made cellulosic and synthetic, have the ability to shed microfibres and they do so throughout the product life cycle, from manufacture to end of use. As evidence emerges and the detrimental effect of microfibres on human health and ecosystems becomes increasingly evident, it is clear that collective efforts are necessary if we are to address the issue.

The Microfibre Consortium (TMC) is a research-led sustainable textiles NGO focused solely on addressing the issue of fibre fragmentation, convening the global textiles sector to limit fibre fragmentation and microfibre pollution. TMC connects and translates deep academic research with the reality of commercial supply chains. By understanding the drivers of fibre fragmentation through fabric testing, root-cause change can be made and the development of practical solutions facilitated to address the problem at its source - the textile itself. TMC’s approach is to influence root-cause change for the whole product lifecycle.

This chapter will discuss how TMC has become the organisation leading the textile industry in reducing microfibre release to protect our environment, through the three pillars of its Microfibre 2030 Commitment and Roadmap:

• Align – driving industry commitment to work to one agenda, scale engagement and activity.
• Understand – a science-led approach to drive root cause understanding through empirical research.
• Mitigate – enabling the sector to take meaningful action at pace whether through root-cause change or alternate interventions, such as end of pipe solutions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMicrofibre Pollution from Textiles
Subtitle of host publicationResearch Advances and Mitigation Strategies
EditorsR. Rathinamoorthy, S. Raja Balasaraswathi
Place of PublicationBoca Raton, US
PublisherTaylor & Francis
ISBN (Electronic)9781003331995
ISBN (Print)9781032362762, 9781032364452
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 28 Nov 2023

Publication series

NameTextile Institute Professional Publications
PublisherCRC Press

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