Your Yoga Pants Could Be Polluting the Sea When You Wash Them

Yoga pants have always been a topic of controversy, whether it’s a high school teacher kicking a student out of class for wearing them or a douchebag on Facebook proclaiming that girls with no ass shouldn’t own any.

But the current controversy surrounding yoga pants isn’t about body shaming or ridiculous dress code standards, it’s about our environment.

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Gulf Coast researchers in Florida have found that comfy clothes, a.k.a all your cute athleisure stuff, have been an increasing source of plastic waste. CBS reported that microfibers, which are teeny-tiny shreds of plastic, have been shedding off of clothing when they’re put in the laundry and ending up in our waterways.

The main culprits of this waste? None other than your favorite yoga pants, Patagonia-style jackets, and any type of workout gear meant to soak up your sweat. Woopsies!

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Obviously, athletic wear isn’t the only type of clothing causing damage to our environment, but it’s notable that they’re suddenly causing more waste than usual due to their popularity. Microbeads, which were banned in 2015, were only found to make up 7% of the plastic waste researchers found around the Florida peninsula. Micofibers, on the other hand, made up 82% of the plastic waste found.

Luckily, the solution might not be to burn all your yoga pants. Instead, researchers are hoping that washing machine companies will get eco-friendly and add filters to machines that will trap these microfibers instead of flushing them down to our oceans. But in the mean time, maybe this is a sign that the athleisure trend has reached its peak and it’s time to dress up again?

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