Lots of fabrics are marketed as sustainable, but what’s really green and what’s merely greenwashing? We’ve rounded up key fabrics that live up to the hype.
Organic cotton is one of the best natural fabrics available and it should be your go-to. It is grown without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides and processed with no chemicals. On top of that it’s farming is more sustainable from an ecological perspective than conventional cotton, using 62% less energy (and 88% less water) than conventional cotton.
Recycled cotton can be made from either post-industrial or post-consumer waste. This is a common technique used by slow fashion brands.
Maybe you’ve gathered this from the trend on this sexy seed, but hemp is also one of the most environmentally-friendly natural fabrics. It is high-yielding, and its growth is healthy for soil; plus it requires less water than cotton. Hemp clothing is forecasted to grow tremendously in the coming years as it is a negative carbon raw material, which also absorbs CO2 in the atmosphere.
In terms of sustainability, linen is nearly identical to hemp. These fabrics are super lightweight and breathable. What is the difference? The flax plant is the source of linen. It requires little fertilizer, pesticide, or irrigation to grow. However, unlike hemp, linen isn’t as high-yielding. You probably know that linen is loved for its reliability and popularity.
Also goes by the names recycled nylon or recycled polyamide. Econyl covers the basics of recycled plastic materials (of the big synthetic fabric villains). It uses synthetic waste from the ocean, abandoned fishing nets, and wasted fabric to make new nylon fabric. While it feels exactly the same as nylon, this fabric is made using a closed-loop system, and doesn’t require as much water. Nylon was actually originally developed as an alternative to silk, because silk was expensive to produce; so it entails similar comfort and feel attributes.
Modal fabric is a semi-synthetic fabric that’s known for its top-notch comfort and breathability. Made 100% from beech trees. While it uses similar production processes of unsustainable viscose rayon fabric, it does so with far less waste and chemicals involved using the same closed-loop production process of recycling water and solvents that’s also used for lyocell. When it comes to brand name TENCEL™ modal, up to 99% of the solvent is reused.
…and here we go with the more funky, innovative fabrics.
Pinatex comes from pineapples and has entered the sustainable fashion world as a sustainable and cruelty-free replacement for leather. It’s essentially a food by-product, made from scrap pineapple leaves that are otherwise burned. It reduces waste and can biodegrade naturally even when frequently combined with wood-based PLA. Tons of potential, so look out for this one!
APPLE ECO LEATHER
Another vegan leather option, Apple Eco Leather or Pellemela. is made from a waste of the apple juice industry. It’s made by the Italian company Frutmat; which specializes in recycling biological waste. On its own, it’s fully biodegradable, as well as waterproof, breathable, and super durable.
Spread the knowledge, buy consciously, #maisonmisaga