Name: Rachael Miller
Company: Cora Ball
Where you’re from and currently reside?
I am originally from Saratoga Springs, New York and now live in Vermont.
Items sold in LMC gift store: Cora Ball
What kind of microfibers ends up in our oceans when we do laundry?
Every time we wash our clothes, tiny fibers are breaking off of our clothes and washing down the drain. These are fibers of all materials: natural cotton and wool as well as synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon. That’s not great for the animals living in those waters, or for us.
How did you create the Cora Ball to combat this problem?
The Cora Ball is a new kind of laundry ball. Inspired by the way coral filters the ocean, the Cora Ball collects our microfibers and tangles them into fuzz we can see, so we can dispose of microfibers in the right way. From recent independent testing, we know Cora Ball is also preventing fibers from shedding off our clothes in the first place, too. As far as solutions go, this is one that shows how lots of people making small efforts make a big positive impact. Together, we can keep these microfibers out of our waterways and oceans!
We’ve read that you’re bringing more women to the conversation surrounding ocean pollution. How are you encouraging more women to join?
Majority of our team is made up of women and we often share our story of taking a massive ocean pollution problem and developing a solution that can make an impact in households. We reach people through online conferences and (when allowed) in-person education events alongside our mother nonprofit, Rozalia Project, for a clean ocean. By sharing our journey, we demonstrate to women that passion combined with skills and great team members can create a far-reaching impact.
What’s the most upbeat trend you’re seeing in ocean conservation?
Once people learn something new about how their actions can affect our ocean, lakes and rivers, they are ready and willing to take action! When we started, very few people knew about microfiber pollution and it is still an issue that needs more attention. We knew learning about microfiber pollution would pique people’s interest since it involves something we all do – wash our clothing, but the speed with which people are ready to change their washing habits or use a Cora Ball is excellent and gives us hope!
What’s your proudest business accomplishment to date?
Following our 2017 kickstarter campaign, the Women’s Institute in the UK, an organization of 250,000 members, learned about the problem of microfiber pollution and adopted it as their cause for the year of 2018. We are very proud of being the catalyst that brought about their decision to take on both an individual action and a public awareness campaign.