Swedish fashion chain Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) is to take part in a sustainability pilot study run by research group Mistra Future Fashion aimed at finding a solution to the problem of ocean waste created by micro plastics from polyester fabrics. 

The 'Micro Plastics' project will investigate the relationship between polyester fabric properties and fibre shedding. Mistra says current research is focused on describing the problem with micro plastics, rather than pointing to possible solutions. 

"Micro plastics in the ocean pose a threat to the marine environment," the research company explains. "The cause behind the increasing amount of micro plastics in marine water bodies is not fully known, but some of the few studies made so far point to washing of textiles as a major contributor."

The ultimate goal is to look at how to construct and care for polyester fabrics to minimise micro plastics shedding. 

The project has been set-up as a pilot study together with Swedish apparel firms Boob Design and Filippa K. It is being led by Sandra Roos at Swedish research institute Swerea, and will be conducted during spring 2017. 

Mistra is hoping to use the findings as the basis for a larger research project involving more partners and stakeholders.