In 2018, the number of consumers looking for ethical products increased by 47%.
It’s evident that an increasing number of shoppers are aware of how big of an impact their consuming habits can have on the planet. And these shoppers want to change to be more conscious and eco-friendly!
If this is your situation, one of the things you can do to become a more mindful consumer is changing the way you buy clothes.
Instead of going for the brands you’re used to, why not look for others that use sustainable fabrics in their garments? If you don’t know exactly what that means, don’t worry. These are ten of the awesome sustainable materials we’re talking about:
Hemp has definitely become a very trendy material as the sustainable market has grown in popularity. Many of us know it as a superfood, but hemp actually has more than one use.
And one of those uses is as a textile material.
When you grow hemp, you don’t need chemical herbicides or pesticides – which would otherwise end up polluting our water and air – or big amounts of water.
This is such a good option for an eco-friendly fabric that new technologies keep being developed in order to accelerate its production process, so chances are that soon we’ll be seeing a lot more hemp clothing items in stores.
We’re sure you’ve never of bamboo as a sustainable alternative material for other items such as straws or plastic cutlery.
This plant can also be turned into fabric and the two big reasons why it is so sustainable are the pace at which it grows (it’s actually the fastest growing plant on planet Earth!) and the fact that it can grow in pretty much any type of conditions.
Plus, it’s a renewable resource and, just like with hemp, its plantation doesn’t need any chemicals.
Once again, this is a name you’ve heard of before but perhaps not as a fabric material.
Soy is a big part of the vegetarian and vegan lifestyle and not just as food: it can actually be turned into vegan cashmere and silk. It’s true, none of those materials are cruelty-free, which means they’re not exactly sustainable: silk comes from cocoons and cashmere from goats.
But those animals don’t have to suffer anymore for us to have beautiful, soft fabrics.
Soy is a very versatile ingredient and it dyes really well, which makes the possibilities in terms of fashion endless.
If you’re looking for a fancy eco-friendly fabric material, you should definitely look into linen.
This fabric is made from flax plant fibers and it naturally comes in several different colors, so it might not even need to be dyed in order to get the desired final look. Whenever that’s the case, the fabric is 100% biodegradable.
A great thing about the flax plant is that every single part can be used, which means that there’s no waste originated, and it doesn’t require big amounts of pesticides to survive.
Tencel is another material that’s been gaining popularity as more and more fashion brands want to become greener. And rightly so: not only is this material sustainable, but it also makes from very durable clothing items.
Tencel is a combination of two types of fibers: modal and lyocell. The first one is a semi-synthetic rayon (so, it’s produced by regenerating cellulose fiber) and the second one is a rayon that’s generated with spun wood cellulose.
We know, there’s a lot of crazy words in that paragraph.
But what it ultimately means is that Tencel is made with ingredients that are biodegradable and sustainably sourced, and they don’t require as much water as other materials.
Did you know that, just like soy, pineapple isn’t just for eating?
That’s right, Piñatex is pineapple leather and, as more and more people adopt a vegan lifestyle, it has been getting more and more popular.
So how can a fruit turn into faux leather?
In this case, it’s not the edible part that is used, but the leaves.
Pineapple leather is an amazing innovation because of how damaging real leather can be. Not only is it an animal product, but its production includes an astonishing amount of toxic chemicals. And that’s never good for the planet or for people!
Plus, pineapple leather is 100% biodegradable, so you won’t be creating any unnecessary waste at the end of the clothing item’s life cycle.
We all know cotton and we’ve all worn clothing items made with this material, which comes as no surprise, as 60% of women’s clothes and 75% of men’s clothes contain some type of cotton blend.
So if it is sustainable, why don’t we just keep making clothes out of cotton?
Well, it’s not that simple. The plantations of cotton are not always the best for our environment because of what the crops need in order to grow well. Consequently, farmers end up using too much water and chemicals.
But that’s exactly why we listed “recycled cotton” and not just “cotton”.
The concept is simple: producers take cotton fabric, turn it into cotton fibers, and give it a second life as another clothing item. This minimizes waste and requires less energy and water than raw cotton.
While we’re on the topic of recycling, the truth is that cotton isn’t the only material that can be reused.
Take a look at Adidas, for example. The brand was aware of how deteriorating single-use plastic is for the ocean, so it decided to do its part and launch a collection of shoes made from plastic trash.
But going for recycled materials can be as simple as choosing second-hand clothing stores over fast fashion ones. And you can do even more by giving out clothes that you don’t wear anymore to these second-hand stores. A full circle!
Wool is an animal fiber so, although it doesn’t cause any animal to die, it might not be the best option for vegans. But the keyword here is “organic”.
When you see a product that’s made with organic, cruelty-free wool, you get a guarantee that the sheep were treated in an ethical manner.
In those cases, wool can be a great sustainable fabric option because grazing sheep can actually be really beneficial for the quality of the soil and boost its ability to accumulate carbon, improving air quality.
Do you ever wonder what happens to all the fabrics that aren’t used by big clothing manufacturers?
Well, chances are that they end up in landfills, contributing to the 15 million tons of textile waste that are generated each year in the United States.
But that doesn’t have to be the case! Smaller fashion designers and stores can actually reclaim those materials to make their own clothing items, reducing waste and getting amazing fabrics to work with.
Benefits of Using Sustainable Fabrics
So now you know that the options are endless when it comes to eco-friendly fabrics. But, what exactly are the benefits of using them instead of the ones you’ve been using so far?
Well, as you can imagine, the main benefit is the environmental impact of these materials when compared to the traditional ones.
These alternatives require less water to be produced, generate less pollution and emit less carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
But that’s not all!
Sustainable fabrics are also better for your health. Many of the so-called regular clothing items are way too harsh for your skin and, when you wear them, you end up being in direct contact with toxic chemicals that don’t do you any good.
And going green doesn’t mean you have to look any less fashionable and cool. Don’t believe us? Take a look at these modern luxury shirts!
Turn Your Wardrobe Greener
When it comes to sustainable fabrics, the options are endless. So there’s no reason why you shouldn’t start incorporating more eco-friendly clothing items into your wardrobe!
We’re sure you’ll find amazing pieces that match your style perfectly. And we promise you, few things feel better than being kind to our planet and future generations.
After all, is there anything trendier than living a green life nowadays?
If you want to read more about how you can do your part in reducing the abuses that happen in the fast fashion industry, make sure to further explore our blog. We have plenty of more tips and useful information for you!