One of the most difficult parts of creating a sustainable clothing line is finding the right fabrics. This is a complex, and sometimes controversial, topic for many in the industry. Those seeking to create sustainable and ethical clothing must first find the right fabric for their lines. This means a balance between durable and biodegradable, as well as stylish and comfortable to compete with unsustainable fabrics. These are some of the most sustainable fabrics we have today.
If you are even just a little bit familiar with the sustainable movement, you probably understand the significance of bamboo. This plant can be grown extremely fast, with the added benefit of absorbing a substantial amount of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. So, it's no wonder that the fibers of bamboo, when converted to bamboo linen, are an excellent and sustainable fabric.
Cotton is one of the most controversial crops when it comes to sustainable fabrics. Cotton consumes a substantial amount of water and often utilizes very strong fertilizers and pesticides. This is why many are still hesitant about organic cotton, which admittedly manages to bypass many of these environmental issues. However, recycled cotton, especially from organic cotton factories, is universally acclaimed as a sustainable fabric, as it would have otherwise gone to waste.
Although the name sounds novel, Econyl is simply recycled nylon. This may not seem all that sustainable at first glance, as nylon contributes to plastic pollution and the microplastic problem, but it is important to note that Econyl is primarily created from plastic waste. In fact, most Econyl is made from plastic pollution collected from the ocean, making it especially ecologically friendly as it inadvertently reduces ocean pollution. Although Econyl may not avoid the problems of plastic pollution altogether, it is a good effort in recycled plastics.
Leather is one of the most ecologically unfriendly materials out there, as the chemicals used in the processing of leather produces significant environmental pollution. It is also unusable to vegans and contributes to unethical farming practices and long-term environmental pollution. One of the most promising fabrics for artificial leather is Piñatex, a material made out of pineapple plant leaves. Most Piñatex are also dyed with natural chemicals, bypassing many of the issues in leather.
Hemp is one of the plants at the forefront of the sustainable movement, as it produces high yields, utilizes less water, and requires less fertilizer. So, it comes as no surprise that organic hemp, which allows plants to use less synthetic fertilizers and water, is an excellent choice for sustainable fabric. It is also an extremely popular plant, and easy to grow in many areas, making it an all-round great sustainable plant.
The sustainable movement simply cannot progress without a robust selection of sustainable fabrics. These fabrics present some of the most promising solutions to the sustainable fabric shortage, and many of them are being explored and developed in agricultural plantations and clothing companies today. Of all the sustainable fabrics currently on the market, these are among the top.