The Environmental Impacts of Washing and Laundry

The Environmental Impacts of Washing and Laundry

with our industry experts

Plastics discovered in water systems - and even in our bodies - has emerged as a critical environmental concern of our age. As much as 63% of all clothing is made from plastics, which means the implications of the textile and fashion industry's role in this disaster is vast. And even aside from the issues of microfibres, there are other contributions to massive environmental impacts caused largely by an outmoded perception of cleanliness: toxic chemicals emitted from dyes and laundry detergents, heavy water consumption in the production of cotton and laundry processes, and high energy consumption from our reliance on household appliances.

In this Masterclass, we get to the bottom of what all this cleaning is actually doing to our planet. Bringing together cutting-edge research from global leaders in household cleaning products, along with an environmental campaigner and, a business disrupting the garment care sector, you will leave equipped with the knowledge of how as designers and consumers, to change habits and perceptions of 'clean' to reduce our negative impact on the planet.

In this Masterclass, you will learn:

  • Microfibre Pollution and the Environmental Impact of Washing Clothing and Textiles

    with Neil Lant

    Over the past four years, microfibres have risen out of seemingly nowhere as one of the most harmful effects of the textile industry on the planet. We know for certain that microfibres are extruded from our synthetic clothes, but beyond this, what do we actually know about the facts surrounding these tiny plastic pollutants? 

    While their effects are still unknown, working on finding out the answer to this serious environmental question, along with practical methods of solving the crisis is Neil Lant and his team of researchers at Procter & Gamble. Neil’s approach is wholly focused on the science behind washing clothes and his 20 years of experience in researching the best washing techniques make this interview a must-watch for anyone keen to stay abreast of the current state of the microfibre crisis.

  • Washing Formulations for Garment Care and How to Reduce Our Environmental Impact

    with Fred Holzhauer

    'Green' laundry detergents from brands like Ecover and Method may be popular amongst the eco-friendly crowd, but some still need convincing of their effective cleaning properties.

    Fred Holzhauer, as the former Director of Formulations at Method and currently Application Development Specialist at Univar Solutions, is just the man to speak to when it comes to understanding eco-friendly laundry habits and detergents. In this interview, he explains precisely how detergents clean fabrics, what those nasty chemicals are doing to our clothes and how to adopt more environmentally friendly approaches to laundry that care for textiles and reduce our need for harsh agents.

  • How Bad is the World’s Water Crisis & What Can Designers Do About It?

    with Emily Broughton

    The fashion industry is hugely reliant on one of the world's most essential resources - water. Making up 72% of the planet's surface and two-thirds of our bodies, water is precious but is being used wastefully and toxically by design companies to create more clothing than we need.

    Saving the Grace is a blog and Instagram platform founded by Emily Broughton, that encourages people to think holistically about the water they use in their daily lives and the ways it ties us all to the great eco-system of the planet. By changing our habits, Emily says, we have the power to bring positive impact to water systems that lie well beyond our familiar environments. With the help of some profoundly unsettling statistics, in this interview, you'll learn the extent of the world's water crisis and how we can start to take responsibility as designers and consumers for protecting our water systems around the globe.



Technical Tutorials

Follow on Masterclasses:

Eco Friendly Inks And Printing

Upcycling And The Circular Economy

Recycled Fabrics: The Social, Economic and Environmental Impacts

Additional Reading