You can think of natural sounding materials like cotton, hemp, or even bamboo, but are they really sustainable?
The most sustainable materials use a circular or closed-loop system, recycling waste and putting it back into production. They must be durable, ethical and affordable. Cotton likes to call itself "the fabric of our lives," but should it be? You have to analyze some of the most sustainable fabrics that exist and thus you can have a clearer picture on the subject
Sustainable Fabrics List
The following provides the necessary information on some of the most sustainable fabrics currently on the market.
Make Old Clothes New Again
Used to make everything from T-shirts, pajamas and even jeans, cotton can be found in almost every closet. It sounds natural, and it is, but not all cotton is the same. Cotton crops consume water and are prone to pests. Organic cotton does not use pesticides, but it represents only 0.7% of total cotton production and still does not solve the problem of water use.
Through a mechanical process, the cotton materials are broken down and then re-spun to make new garments. This saves water and energy, and much of the material has already been dyed, giving you colors with less burden of environmental damage. However, it should be noted that the system is not perfect. Clothes must be collected and processed, and the recycling process can weaken the fibers.
A Net Profit?
Nylon is a synthetic fiber found in everything from fishing nets to pantyhose, and of course pajamas that are made all over the world. It does not break down easily, so it is infinitely recyclable. As a resilient and stretchy material, recycled nylon is ideal for tight-fitting garments and high-performance sportswear.
However, some environmental production costs still cannot be avoided and as a non-natural material, recycled nylon will remove contaminating microfibers.
From Bottles To Models
If only you could take all the plastic waste and turn it into clothes! Well, with recycled polyester, this is totally possible!
Recycled Polyester Fiber (rPET) is made from post-industrial and post-consumer waste. It is used in a wide variety of clothing, including sports shirts, collared shirts and winter jackets and pajamas Low cost.
However, as with any recycled synthetic material, the environmental cost of processing and the microfibers released during use and laundering must be considered.
Natural And Fresh From The Year 8,000 BC.
As a natural fiber from the flax plant, it is biodegradable and has been used for thousands of years. As a plant, flax doesn't need a lot of water to grow and can thrive even in poor soils. All parts can be used, which generates little waste. Linen is often used to make loose, breathable shirts, pants, and dresses; and on some special occasions pajamas. It is lightweight, durable, and resistant to both moths and bacteria.
Although not as sustainable as recycled fibers, when considering land and water use, you don't have to worry about contamination from microfibers.
High-quality fabric that grows like weeds
Hemp is another natural eco-friendly fabric that has been used for thousands of years due to its durability and tendency to grow almost effortlessly. As a plant, it replenishes the soil, absorbs carbon dioxide and provides a high yield. Hemp material has many of the same properties as flax: it is biodegradable, lightweight, strong, and naturally antibacterial. Hemp clothing, which can be anything from T-shirts to dress pants, even blocks UV light.
Hemp has suffered from its association with marijuana in the US, but it's starting to make a comeback.
Alternative Sweets For Vegans
Innovative companies have turned to fruit waste to make everything from shoes to handbags. Based in London, Ananas Anam makes a material they called Piñatex from pineapple leaf fiber. Not only are they environmentally sustainable in their 'cradle to cradle' approach, they also support rural farming communities in the Philippines
In Denmark, The Apple Girl manufactures Apple Leather using waste cider and juice products. In the Netherlands, Fruitleather Rotterdam's preferred fruit for its vegan leather is mango.
Wood Pulp Fiber:
An Old Resource Meets A New Technology
Companies with new techniques are turning to wood as another vegetable source for clothing. Some names of fibers that are already considered common in the market are Tencel ™, which is used to make everything from a kind of denim or jeans, to intimate clothing and pajamas, and Burla Viscose, developed as artificial silk.
The companies that manufacture them source and process them sustainably, and the results are fully biodegradable.
Untapped Sustainability Potential
Many materials are already made from bamboo, and bamboo is a great source because it can be grown quickly and organically, and if left untreated, it is biodegradable. However, consumers should be vigilant, as bamboo products undergo a lot of green washing. Although bamboo can be grown organically, this is not always the case. Most of the bamboo on the market is chemically processed or uses large amounts of water.
If you want to use bamboo, look for bamboo fabric that is certified organic, dewy, and natural in color.
Sustainable Fabric of the Future?
Although it is called spider silk, no spider is harmed in the process. Rather, spiders, with their ability to create super strong silk without the addition of heat, serve as the inspiration for this lab-made fiber. The resulting material is incredibly strong and requires very little energy to process. However, the challenge has been to scale and bring spider silk products to market. Japanese company Spiber partnered with The North Face to create the limited-release Moon Parka in 2019, so keep an eye out for this new apparel from now on.
Anything You Buy Second Hand Still Number One
As cool as these sustainable materials sound, the most sustainable material of all is still something you can buy or get second-hand. Materials innovation is an important part of the fashion industry of the future, but for the average consumer, the local thrift store remains the most sustainable option.
There is a wealth of information on sustainable fabrics and many new companies making extraordinary materials. So the next time a new garment is needed, look for an eco-friendly option instead of settling for fast fashion.