Ep 31. Microplastics with macro impacts: how does fashion play a part in this?! With Sara Longo.

The ANIMA ANIMUS Podcast is on a mission to bring the conversation of sustainability to the forefront of the fashion industry. Join Chelsea and her guests in learning and growing, unravelling the issues that the fashion system has caused, both on our planet and its people. Follow us on your favourite streaming app, Apple Podcasts, Spotify or listen here now. Featured in the Top 10 UK Fashion podcasts.

What has fashion got to do with micro-plastics?!

It is ABSOLUTELY INSANE that apparently… we may be ingesting a credit card’s worth of micro-plastics in our bodies EVERY WEEK (WFF, 2019). Around two thirds of our clothes are made from synthetic fibres, such as polyester, acrylic and nylon, which are all plastics. Textiles are the largest source of both primary and secondary micro-plastics, accounting for 34.8% of global micro-plastic pollution, with around 700,000 micro-fibres being released in every wash cycle. As it gets released into our water ways, micro-fibres have the potential to find its way into our food chain, as well as harming both wildlife and human health.

This week’s episode is a super fun and engaging conversation with Sara Longo, as we take a quick deep dive into what micro-plastics are, how they’re formed, and most importantly, how we can minimize these impacts. Definitely tune in to hear some more crazy facts!

a sustainable fashion podcast with this week's topic on microplastics and fashion's part in contributing to this environmental health risk.  The ANIMA ANIMUS Podcast features Sara Longo, a sustainability consultant.


Sara Longo is an entrepreneur and management and sustainability consultant whose work focuses on business planning, fundraising, and program operations. Sara’s work has been featured in various publications such as The New York Times, Women’s Day, and even on the cover of Newsweek! Being super experienced, she has directed early-stage start-ups, and continues to practise her international advocacy work in sustainability and environmental health. She’s also super active and is also a National Geographic Certified Educator, whilst currently serving as the Vice President of Style412; a fashion non-profit dedicated to the advancement of emerging fashion talent within the Pittsburgh area. Wow, what can Sara not do, right?!


Sara’s Instagram: click here. // Style 412 website: click here.

Time-stamps and key thoughts/ ideas bought up in this episode:

3:00 – “All plastics are recyclable,” true or false?

- “At the bottom of plastic bottles in the United States, there’s a symbol that looks like a recycle symbol and there’s a number inside of it. Most people see that 3-triangle symbol and think it means ‘recyclable’, but actually the number inside is what tells you if it’s recyclable or not.”- Sara.

15:10 – What fueled Sara’s passion for sharks, the ocean and sustainability.

18:30 – The basics: what are microplastics and how do they form?

21:20 – Primary & secondary microplastics: how does fashion play a part in this?

- Synthetic fibres

- How do micro-fibres shed in our wash?

- Impacts of microplastic in our drinking water and food sources.

24:15 – Toothpaste, face wash, hand sanitizers: did you know microplastics are used in these and were not designed to dissolve in water?!

29:50 – Solutions! Some actionable and easy changes we can make to tackle these impacts, and be more conscious consumers.

- Using a Guppy bag and Cora-ball in your washing machine to help capture micro-fibres when doing laundry.

- You could start by picking a room in your house or an area in your life and start with that. E.g. Your kitchen > switching to reusable bags at the grocery store, reusable water bottles, coffee cups, cutlery, drinking straws.

- Fashion Circular economy: could you mend old clothing, up-cycle, rent clothing, swap items, thrift shop, invest in more conscious brands using more sustainable materials?

39:00 - Style 412

- A non-profit organization dedicated to the growth of conscious fashion and industry professionals within the city of Pittsburgh.

- Reviving the city’s fashion potential, back as a sustainable fashion hub.

- Education: inviting a range of perspectives from the Pittsburgh fashion community to connect and discuss the current fashion ecosystem.

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Thank you so much again for coming through, and until next week…

Sending you mad mad love,

Chelsea x

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