Sustainable fabrics have little-to-no impact on the environment. It’s fabric that is natural, recycled or biodegradable. In order for the fabric to be truly sustainable the entire production process from sourcing to sale to extending the lifespan through recycling should be considered. Such as:
- Little of no chemicals
- Least amount of waste
- Use less water
- Doesn’t harm animals
- Sourced and produced locally
What Types of Fabrics are Sustainable?
There are basically two types of sustainable fabrics, natural and the man-made fabrics of the future that are biodegradable.
What Natural Fabrics are Sustainable?
Recycled cotton is one of the most sustainable natural fabrics because it’s recycled. It’s made from old garments or discarded fabric from production houses. Recycled cotton prevents textile waste and uses far fewer resources in production than cotton or organic cotton.
Organic cotton is grown with no pesticides and no harmful chemicals are used in the entire production process. It’s better for the environment than conventional cotton but the most sustainable cotton is still recycled.
Organic hemp comes from the cannabis sativa plant family. It’s one of the most environmentally natural fabrics. It’s good for the soil, requires a lot less water than cotton and actually absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere. Another positive is that hemp is naturally protective from the sun and has antimicrobial properties – meaning it prevents the growth of odor-causing bacteria. Some negatives when it comes to hemp is that it’s not as soft as other fabrics, it wrinkles easier and it can be more expensive.
Organic linen is much like hemp but it comes from the flax plant. It’s extremely durable, and completely biodegradable. Linen is versatile, hypoallergenic, lightweight and absorbs moisture from the body. The disadvantages of linen is that it wrinkles easily and is expensive.
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