Patagonia is globally known for being the mother of sustainable companies and holding inspirational commitment to the environment – shown through their values, products, and gracious employees. Over the years Patagonia has set out to find different ways in which they can implement their conservation knowledge within different environmental fields, and influence other brands and companies to follow suit. Now, collaborating with Samsung, this duo can take the world of technology to the next sustainable level.

Back in 2022, Samsung and Patagonia partnered together to start creating a washing machine feature that combats microplastics shed from textiles during the laundry cleaning process. This eco-conscious design will provide a high-performance clean without compromise.

“The technologies we’re unveiling at CES 2023 place sustainability at the core of the user experience,” stated Moohyung Lee, Head of the R&D Team of the Digital Appliances Business at Samsung Electronics. “Our ambition is to become the most energy-efficient appliance brand globally, and our latest products and partnerships will help make sustainable living a reality for more people and more communities.”

Samsung washers already have a few unique features that conserve energy – Ecobubble cleans efficiently at lower temperatures, bringing a greater amount of bubbles while conserving energy. This design helps the detergent penetrate the dirt on the clothing faster while preserving the color and texture. The AI Wash feature uses installed sensors to measure the weight of the load, allowing for an accurate usage of water, detergent, and energy.  

Now, in 2023, the collaborators are linking together to combat ocean pollution. Samsung and Patagonia are finalizing said specialized washing feature. Here’s how the general cleaning process works: during the cleaning cycle, clothes are spun around creating friction, causing synthetic materials to shed off the small pieces of plastic, contaminating the water. These pieces flow through our water systems, all conjoining in the ocean. The new feature is programmed to cut the amount of microplastics down by half.

Microplastics are minute size plastics either broken down from larger plastic debris, or shed from items that were designed for commercial use, such as cosmetic products or clothing items. These plastics, like any other plastics, are made from materials that are inherently non-biodegradable; and by existing at such a small size, these plastics are anything but harmless. They are largely found in landfills or swimming around our oceans, polluting the water quality, food resources, ecosystems, and the health of marine life.

The press release published by Samsung earlier this month [January], details all of the newly designed features — focusing on energy efficiency, the reduction of microfibers and plastics, and the reduction of wasted water, all with the overall goal of reducing their environmental impact as their motivator.