Thanks to fast fashion and fashion wholesale, the fashion industry is currently the planet’s second biggest polluter, and so sustainable fashion companies are making a conscious effort to be a part of the solution.
Sustainable apparel refers to materials that are not made out of synthetic fibers such as nylon, polyester or acrylic, but from eco-friendly fibers. Here are five sustainable fibers to look out for when buying sustainable fashion:
Conventional cotton uses pesticides, therefore it isn’t sustainable. For starters, let’s talk about the soil. Organic cotton seeds are left untreated, whereas non-organic seeds are sprayed with insecticides and fungicides which are genetically modified. Next in the process of clothes manufacturing, non-organic cotton uses synthetic fibers.
No toxic chemicals are used to grow organic cotton, meaning that the soil, air and water are left uncontaminated. Therefore, organic cotton production produces around 46% less C02 emissions compared to normal cotton.
Organic cotton products aren’t just better for the environment but they are essential if we are going to take climate change seriously in the future. Brands like Nandi Studio, Soluna Collective and Beaumont Organic offer beautiful, eco-friendly garments.
Linen is an earth-friendly fabric because it’s made from flax, an eco-conscious crop. Flax crops only actually make up about 1% of the earth’s farmland, and so true organic linen is very rare.
The flax industry is small to begin with because it can only be planted on the same crop every seven years. Flax that comes from organic farms have to raise other crops, rotating them through the fields with each new growing season. Flax crops can’t be certified as organic unless all the other crops grown on the same land are also organic.
And so, by making the choice to buy organic linen products, you’re supporting the growth of the flax industry and the farmers who grow it. It may be a tad more expensive but it’s better for the soil and improves biodiversity.
One of the world’s oldest fabrics, linen is kind to the environment and is 100% biodegradable when left untreated.
Bamboo, which is a type of grass, is an organic crop that requires no fertilizer as it regenerates from its own roots.
Not only is bamboo strong and durable, but it also biodegrades. It’s an effective and affordable strategy to combat single use-plastics.
Plastic is killing our environment and we need to find appropriate substitutes. Many fashion brands are switching from plastic to bamboo for their sunglass cases, and is also used as a strong alternative to conventional cotton used in fabrics.
Asquith Ltd. is a forward thinking fashion brand with a gorgeous collection of Bamboo Products.
Lyocell is an environmentally sustainable man-made fiber material, made from wood cellulose or pulp by a solvent spinning process. The solvent, amine oxide is non-toxic. It’s an especially versatile fabric used in bed linen, denim, shirts, trousers and towels.
Lyocell has a smooth finish with a beautiful appearance. It’s also often used in sportswear as it gives a light, breathable feel. It’s a little bit more expensive than cotton or linen but the benefits are worth the investment.
Lyocell is environmentally friendly because it’s naturally biodegradable. The production of lyocell has no harmful impact on the environment, and the trees are harvested in a short amount of time. It takes about two hour and a half hours from wood chopping to carding, and the tree farming doesn’t require irrigation or pesticides.
These properties of lyocell products have made it an extremely popular material in the fashion and textile industry and a strong contender of cotton.
Hemp is a weed so it grows with rainwater and no pesticides, making it environmentally sustainable. While trees take years to grow, hemp can be grown in a few months.
Practically every part of the plant can be used, with the fiber of the stalks outer bast used in textile manufacturing. Hemp production returns 60-70% of nutrients it takes from the soil, so it’s gentle on the earth. It also requires very little water and land to cultivate. It can actually produce up to double the fiber content per hectare than cotton.
The weaving process can be done organically through a mechanical process that requires no chemicals.
Check out these elegant clothing brands offering hemp products.