The Cora Ball is one of our more controversial products, so let me explain my thoughts on this one. Scientific studies have been conducted, and the Cora Ball has been shown to reduce microfiber shed in the wash by 26%, and then shown to trap 31% of microfibers that are released before they get washed into our waterways. Some say that isn't enough. Some say they don't see microfibers in their Cora Ball.
Read on for our thoughts on this product and why we continue to carry it.
- Natural fibers are best! Plastic clothing should not even be made, in my opinion. There are certainly better options, if only we could get most clothiers to use them!
- I work really hard to shop for natural fibers, but I find it difficult. For example, I needed a new pair of jeans last year and I went hunting for a 100% cotton pair. There was ONE pair of 100% cotton jeans in the mall (I hit so many stores that I lost count), and it didn't fit me at all. After spending hours searching for a pair, I ended up settling for one that was 98% cotton and 2% synthetic fibers. When shopping for my sons, they are happy to search for 100% cotton tee shirts, but it's nearly impossible to find comfortable natural fiber shorts and pants for them. People also give them clothing, and they don't usually care about checking for natural fibers like I do... they buy the super soft polyester that makes me cringe. My husband also is on a bike team, and they wear a uniform. Biking team clothing is unfortunately not made from natural fibers, and he has no choice but to wear the team uniform (He can obviously speak up about his preference, but that doesn't always work to change what the team will agree on).
- I own a lot of yoga pants from before I became aware of microfibers (some pairs are nearly a decade old!) and zero waste means that I will care for them the best I can until they are no longer usable.
With those things said, we do have synthetic fabrics in our laundry. There isn't a way for us to avoid it entirely, so my preference is to find another way to mitigate the release of these fibers into our wastewater system. The Cora Ball has been shown to reduce shedding, even if the number isn't 100%, but when we combine the 26% lower shed and the 31% take-up of microfibers that make it into the water, that's a 49% reduction in microfibers that could be coming off of these synthetic fabrics.
The best part - they do this with waste from other manufacturing cycles that is destined for the landfill, so they're diverting and reusing!
Is this perfect? No.
But is it better than what it would be if I didn't use a Cora Ball? Yes.
Do I see microfibers in my Cora Ball? Yes, I sure do. I clean it out to put hair, dog hair, strings and other pieces into the garbage (instead of the waterways). And while I still put in the effort to buy as many natural fiber products as possible, I feel better about the way I care for my synthetics.