Did you know a fleece jacket can shed as many as 250,000 fibres per wash!

Polyester/fleece clothes do not biodegrade and create a microplastics problem in our environment.

This article describes microplastic contamination found in drinking water.

Reduce the volume of microfibres polluting our oceans by washing your clothes less. (Yes, really!)


Textile waste accounts for 4% to landfill in Aotearoa every year.  

Clothing placed in recycle bins are sorted and separated into good quality clothing and shoes which can be reused or worn. Damaged clothing is further sorted into grades to make industrial wiping clothes, blankets, furniture blankets, mattresses, car insulation and furniture padding.

"... the average female consumer who has a moderate interest in fashion acquires up to 29kgs of textile and new clothing purchases per year, meaning they're also disposing of a lot too.
"... waste textiles was currently the second biggest pollutant in the world, and recycling often was not possible.
"Many of the fabrics that are used in using the cheaper polyester-based clothes just can not be recycled." (2018 RNZ article, scroll down page)

What happens to waste textiles? Read this interesting RNZ article.


You can reduce the need to purchase new clothing by buying good quality items that will last or can be easily repaired. Rather than buying new, see if clothing items can be repaired. Check out the Clothing - Alterations and Repair agents listed in the Yellow Pages.

Buy natural-fibre clothing wherever possible as this will reduce non-biodegradable waste.

Tips to reduce microplastic waste from clothing (from Consumer article 30 May 2019):

  • Use your washing machine’s eco- or short-wash cycle. The longer clothes are washed, the more opportunity microplastics get to be released.
  • Wash similar textiles together. Harder fabrics, such as denim, can rub up against softer ones in the wash, which can release fibres.
  • Don’t wash your clothes as often. If you can, wash stains by hand.

Wash bags specifically designed to reduce microplastics waste to waterways can be purchased in New Zealand.


Donate your pre-loved clothing to secondhand/charity shops, and do your own shopping there too!

Share clothing with friends, attend clothes-swap events.

If you've got the space, store favourite clothing/textile articles - as fashion trends do come round again.

Worn or damaged clothing and sheets can be used around the house for dusters or cleaning cloths. Old clothing can be reused to make covers for quilts and cushions. Cut worn sheets/bedding and re-sew to get more wear out of them. 


SaveMart has recycle bins onsite at the Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre, shopping centres and other locations around our region.


Please keep polyester, nylon, microfibre (non-biodegradable) textiles from landfill as long as possible.