Baleena builds best-in-class, next-gen filtration devices to tackle microplastics fiber pollution in the fashion supply chain, beginning first with individual consumers. Microplastic fibers are shed by our synthetic clothing during the wash process and ultimately find their way into our oceans, seafood sources, and drinking water. Baleena’s filter technology seamlessly integrates into household washing machines, capturing harmful microplastic fibers during each cycle, and empowering consumers to make a tangible impact on the health of our oceans and planet.
Baleena’s founders volunteer with local companies and organizations (like United by Blue, Bottle Underground, and FABSCRAP) to tackle circularity in different ways beyond their textile microplastics focus.
Why did you become a member?
At first, we reached out to Circular Philadelphia to chat about local circularity policies and educate ourselves on how we could push our business to do better. Serendipitously, that initial conversation uncovered a wealth of opportunities that convinced us that we needed to become full-fledged CP members. The opportunity to help out with the Textiles Working Group was especially exciting, uniquely complementing and amplifying our own ongoing education efforts around overconsumption and textile pollution. Our involvement with CP has been inspiring, thanks to the vibrant community and our enriching conversations with passionate local small businesses and organizations.
What does a circular economy mean to your organization?
At Baleena, we are working to close the loop on microplastic fibers from clothing textiles. We hope to safely dispose of the microplastics and ultimately recirculate materials back into the supply chain.
How is your organization practicing circularity?
Baleena’s impact extends beyond reducing microplastics pollution with its laundry filter. It supports reducing the generation of microplastic fibers at the source by discouraging the use of single-use plastics, promoting alternative materials, and encouraging the design of products that shed fewer microplastics during their lifecycle, particularly clothing items. Additionally, Baleena participates in Circular Philadelphia’s initiatives to implement improved recycling infrastructure for clothing and macroplastics to prevent them from breaking down into microplastics in the first place and reduce the production of virgin materials. Baleena also encourages a shift in consumer behaviors and attitudes towards plastic consumption and disposal through education campaigns, raising awareness about the impacts of microplastic pollution, and promoting more conscious consumer choices. Overall, Baleena aims to create a closed-loop system where microplastics are managed in a way that minimizes environmental harm, promotes resource efficiency, and supports a healthier ecosystem.
How can others advance the circular economy?
Advancing the circular economy requires a collective effort. As individuals, reducing consumption will help advance it. We can make conscious choices to buy less, and focus on quality over quantity. For example, avoid unnecessary purchases, and prioritize products that are durable and designed for longevity. Opt for reusable products, repair items instead of discarding them, and support local repair shops. Extend the lifespan of products whenever possible. Buy and sell used items through thrift stores, online platforms, or swap events. This extends the life of products and reduces demand for new manufacturing. These are just some recommendations for individuals; there are other things to consider in other roles we hold.