Due to the constant greenwashing of fashion brands, it’s important to build your sustainable clothing brand up with ethical practices and responsibly sourced materials.
Sportswear makes up a part of the fast fashion industry due to its constantly changing trends and heavy use, resulting in excessive textile waste that negatively impacts the environment. With many companies using “sustainability” as a means to boost sales, many customers are left feeling confused as to which brands can be truly deemed as ethical. Nowadays, many clothing brands and retailers take part in greenwashing in order to boost sales. Therefore it’s important to build a responsible, sustainable business from the inside out with responsibly sourced and ethically made materials.
Which are the best sustainable materials for sportswear? We’re here to answer this question.
Cotton is a natural material that’s been used for clothes making for decades and works as a soft and comfortable fabric for mostly non-active activities. Cotton on its own isn’t very technical as a sportswear material, but it can be made more durable and lightweight by blending it with other fibers such as spandex. Cotton can also be used more ethically as it doesn’t require the excessive use of chemicals.
Conventional cotton requires vast amounts of pesticides that pose a negative impact on the environment and those who work around it. The manufacturing process also uses huge amounts of water. Cotton can be grown ethically without chemicals but the natural process is a lot slower. Always choose organic cotton wherever possible that is GOTS or COTTON USA™ certified to prevent the extra burden on the environment.
What are some sustainable alternatives to cotton? Bamboo and hemp are usually used as more ethical alternatives to cotton. Bamboo grows quickly and without the use of insecticides and pesticides. Bamboo is easy to work with as it can transform into yarn easily without extra water use, and it contains natural moisture-wicking properties. Its often used for soft garments, making it perfect for activewear.
The only drawback is that developing bamboo into soft yearn is a long process, having to pass through heavy chemicals. An example of this kind of bamboo material is bamboo rayon. And so to preserve the natural characteristics of bamboo, some clothing brands have started to use lyocell technology which is under the name of TENCEL®, which is what transforms bamboo into a soft, silk-like textile. Lyocell is known as the eucalyptus yarn and has increased in production in recent years in order to support bamboo textile production. Bamboo textiles are often used in yoga wear, casualwear, base layer sets, and trekking clothing.
What is hemp fiber? Hemp is one of a number of crops that places up to 70% of the nutrients and resources it takes from the soil. The plan is also incredibly resistant, as it can grow in various types of environments without the need for conventional farming methods. It doesn’t require intensive tilling nor the use of chemical fertilizers.
Hemp is the most durable of all-natural fibers and is three times stronger than cotton. Two of its amazing properties are its UV resistance and antimicrobial properties, and so hemp clothing holds its color and shape longer than other fabrics, making it a winning material amongst manufacturers of sportswear
Due to these qualities, hemp is a very versatile material that is used for many different applications. Hemp is often blended with cotton, linen, and TENCEL™ which is what gives it its lightweight, breathable feel.
The sustainable textile industry is constantly coming up with brilliant innovations for transforming waste into durable activewear. One of these is Cupro. Derived from cotton linter, it’s a regenerated cellulose fiber. Cotton linter is the short, downy fiber that enfolds the cotton seeds. These unused fibers that are leftover in cotton production are usually disposed of, but this innovation enables the resource to be transformed into Cupro.
Cupro is manufactured in Japan with strict regulations on factory pollution, using only clean water systems. As a material, Cupro is smooth, anti-static, and has great resistance. It’s especially favorable for higher temperatures, and can be machine washed and dried several times without causing harm to its texture. This material is a fantastic option for activewear for its outstanding technical properties.
Within the fast fashion industry, most sportswear is often made from synthetic fibers due to its long-lasting performance and cost-effective manufacturing process. However, the compounds that are used to make these fibers are derived from petroleum-based chemicals or petrochemicals. Combined with the constantly changing trends in the fashion industry and lack of recycling, synthetic fibers are one of the worst pollutants.
Recycled polyester has boomed in popularity due to recent innovations and the increasing exposure of plastic waste being dumped in our oceans and landfills. For example, Repreve is a high-quality material from recycled plastic bottles, with many fashion brands using Repreve in their collections. Centering an entire production around recycled polyesters is an excellent way to your brand’s positive environmental image.
Source : www.commonshare.com