Sustainable fabrics have become extremely popular in recent times. Everyone wants to get their hands on fabrics that last. If there is one thing that people have observed over the years, it is the fact that high fashion is not sustainable. Hence, people are making a switch to sustainable fabrics to ensure that the environment does not suffer because of our desire to wear something new every day.
As you already know, washing clothes that are made of manmade fabrics releases micro-fibers that are harmful to other species. Hence, sustainable fabrics are the need of the hour. If you are interested in sustainability and are on the hunt for sustainable fabrics, you have come to the right place. This post takes a close look at the top 6 most sustainable fabrics that can help save the world.
One of the most sustainable fabrics that you need to know more about is lyocell. Boasting a scientific name, it is a material that is showing up just about everywhere. Many fashion houses have embraced the fabric and have featured it on the ramp. Lyocell is a material that does not disappoint. It is made using cellulose from wood pulp and has even been trademarked “Tencel” by an Austrian company. The reason why lyocell is an amazing sustainable fabric is that its fibers are compostable and biodegradable. Besides, its production process is known for its low environmental impact. No toxic chemicals are used to create the material and the wastewater is only recycled.
The story of the fabric starts in Alabama where it was first produced commercially about three decades ago. Plant-based fiber is changing the way designers create clothing. This buttery-soft textile can be seen today in both high street and luxury labels. It has even been given the name “miracle fabric”. Eucalyptus is mostly used to create the fabric. However, birch and oak are also used. Once it has been harvested, the wood is separated into tiny pieces and grounded to create pulp which is dissolved using amine oxide. It ensures that only raw cellulose remains which is pushed through spinnerets to create white lyocell fibers. Finally, the fibers are washed, dried, and spun into yarn that is woven to produce fabric.
Not many people know that lyocell is a fabric that can be made into different textures. However, the basic fabric is actually very soft. The best thing about the fabric is that it does not cling and is hypoallergenic. It is also twice as absorbent as cotton and makes for the perfect material for activewear. Thus, this sustainable fabric packs a punch.
2. Pineapple Leather
Another sustainable fabric that you need to know about is pineapple leather. It is created from the waste materials of plants and fruits. Generally, the fabric is made using pineapple leaves that are grown in the Philippines. A great thing about the fabric is that its production is more sustainable in comparison to traditional leather. Besides, it is completely animal-free. It does not require any harmful chemicals and uses a fraction of water. Hence, it is not harmful to the environment. As for the leftover leaf waste, it is recycled and utilized as biomass or fertilizer. The material is also being used for upholstery at the very first vegan hotel located in London. Get your international driver’s license to get there and get the best fabric.
3. Squid Protein
Squid protein is also being used to create sustainable fabric. It has proven to the world that mimicking nature is the best way forward. Textile manufacturers are turning to squid protein to create the unimaginable. It all started at Pennsylvania State University where the discovery of a protein found in squid ring teeth showed remarkable results. The protein can be engineered to be of wider use. It is a great option as it is more durable and possesses self-healing properties. A variety of garments can be made using the material which is biodegradable and recyclable.
Wool is actually a sustainable fabric. Even though most wool farms lack adequate welfare standards, wool is considered to be a sustainable fabric as it is biodegradable, durable, and renewable. In fact, there are some wool farmers that use techniques which reduce environmental impact. The reason why this material had to be mentioned is that its strength and resilience is unlike any other. It is both water-repellent and flame-resistant. Therefore, it will last longer.
Linen is another sustainable fabric that does not get the attention it deserves. It is one of the oldest manmade fabrics. Linen tends to be hard-wearing which means that it can last years. The flax plant is used to make linen. It was used by the Ancient Egyptians because of its ability to keep people cool, absorb water, and durability. Today, it can be grown in different parts of the world. However, it is mostly grown in Europe as it is home to the flax plant. The plant does not require fertilizers or pesticides and does not need much water. It is even great for soil health. Linen also dries quickly which makes it the perfect fabric.
6. Better Cotton
Finally, better cotton is becoming a thing. There is no denying that cotton farming requires a lot of chemicals and pesticides along with a ton of water. But, the fabric can be produced more sustainably. For instance, the Better Cotton Initiative supports farmers to ensure that they care for water and soil health. To make sure that you purchase better cotton, you can search to find retailers that have been certified and have the GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) label. It would mean that the fabric was made without using toxic fertilizer or pesticides.
After you have finished reading the post, you will know about the top 6 sustainable fabrics. From lyocell to better cotton, each fabric has something to offer. However, lyocell offers great potential and is expected to take over the world. It is only a matter of time until it is found everywhere.