Early last year, executives from Samsung and Patagonia met to begin discussions on developing a solution to reduce microplastics that are shed from clothes when washed. Microplastics have a major impact on the environment, threatening not only the marine ecosystem but the health of the humans as well.
«Since Samsung’s Digital Appliances division was already conducting its own research to reduce microplastics, we were able to form a mutual understanding and agreed to work together quickly – said Chiwoong Yoon, who worked on ESG Strategy and acted as manager throughout the collaborative project -. The support from Patagonia heavily motivated us and gave us the confidence to accelerate the development of a practical solution and commercialize it.»
In order to accurately and objectively verify that microplastics were being reduced, the companies needed help from a research institute in the field. Patagonia introduced the nonprofit marine conservation research organization Ocean Wise Plastics Lab to Samsung.
A year after the development began, Samsung finally succeeded in developing a laundry cycle that is specifically designed to reduce microplastic shedding by up to 54 percent. This technology both effectively washes clothes and reduces the release of microplastics, all while maintaining the quality of clothes.