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Don’t be sheepish about asking brands the hard questions around transparent sourcing practices. However, most animal agriculture has been associated with environmental degradation and land clearing—and this includes operations that raise sheep for wool. It’s high-yielding, its growth is healthy for the soil (thanks to a process called phytoremediation), and it requires much less water than cotton. As a natural fiber, wool can be considered an alternative to plastic / petroleum-based synthetics like nylon and polyester. Where animal welfare is a concern with other types of wool, there have been less reported cases with camels. That pair of socks is not so innocuous after all…. We need to break free from the fast fashion mentality that encourages rapid turnaround times on trends and a quasi-disposable attitude toward clothes. Recycled cotton helps to prevent fashion waste from ending up in landfill. As unpalatable as it is, billions of ducks and millions of geese are raised for meat, and down is a good way to use the feathers that would otherwise go to waste. Plus it can’t biodegrade! That cup of coffee can go a little further with S.Cafe. Choosing one of the sustainable fabrics by Carvico and Jersey Lomellina means actively and efficiently contributing to preserving nature, since we use recycled raw materials instead of non renewable ones. The manufacturing of lyocell is also sustainable, because it requires less water than other fabrics, and occurs in a “closed loop system” where up to 99.5% of dissolving agents can be reused. While the raw crop is biodegradable, the chemicals required to transform it into fabric, including carbon disulfide, are unsafe. The New York Times explains: The source of cellulose is also questionable. These man-made fabrics are made from cellulose. Just note some Pinatex brands also cover it in non-biodegradable resins which sort of defeats the point. You may smell like a latte all day 🙂 (though we wouldn’t complain about that either), but you’ll be dry, comfy, and eco-friendly while doing so! That’s right — no animals were harmed in this type of silk fabric production. However, animal agriculture, specifically that which involves ducks and gees, has been associated with inhumane practices so we always want to look for certifications that confirm no foul play is involved and that no animals are harmed purely for the purpose of harvesting their feathers. Read Our Free eBook . After 4 years for R&D and hard work, S.Café has developed a green technology for creating sustainable fabrics. Modal is another semi-synthetic fabric that’s known for its top-notch comfort and breathability. Certifications & Standards:  Oeko-Tex 100, Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP), Forest Stewardship Council. It’s harvested from either the outer-coat (which yields a coarser fiber) or the undercoat (which yields a softer fiber) of Yaks raised free range on the Tibetan Plateau. Recycled polyester is definitely better than virgin polyester. Yak wool is a cashmere alternative and it’s also incredibly soft and warm. While this is both a recycled and semi-natural fabric (and thus far more sustainable than any non-recycled synthetic), it is one of the least sustainable on this list. Could Wool Fibers Replace Glass Fibers in FRP? If you see their name associated with a brand, you can be rest assured it was made using closed-loop processes and that you’re choosing some of the most sustainable textiles on the planet. Alpacas don’t destroy their environment in the way that other livestock does, and they’re more efficient eaters, too. Many fashion brands are responding to customer demands — and science is catching up. Either way, it’s important to do a double take at transparency and other types of third-party certifications. It’s made by the Italian company Frutmat (by which it’s also called, in a sort of Kleenex/tissue situation), which specializes in recycling biological waste. Did we include the best sustainable fabrics? Theirs is also carbon-neutral and made only from wood harvested from certified sources – all reasons to prioritize brands that stick to Lenzing’s TENCEL™ modal. These camels are typically raised by small-scale, family farmers, which also contributes to less environmental damage. Discover the widest range of Sustainable Fabrics available in a variety of Digital Prints made up of Banana Cotton, Bamboo Cotton & Many More. My sewing patterns are versatile and timeless, which is an important aspect in creating a more sustainable wardrobe. We are currently in a time of overconsumption especially with the fast fashion industry. @, Did you know diversifying your diet is one way of, Sweatpants are practically a staple these days, so, Biodiversity loss is arguably the greatest threat. 8, 2020, doi.org/10.3390/su12083077, Wiedemann, S.G., et al. In countries like Thailand or Myanmar, lotus fibres have been used for rare fabrics for centuries as the time-consuming process produces a luxurious fabric that feels like a combination of silk and raw linen. What we know now is that every wash releases plastic microfibers into waterways and these persist indefinitely, contaminating lakes and oceans and getting ingested by animals and, indirectly, by humans. The New York Times writes: A good quick intro to the microfiber pollution problem is this video from The Story of Stuff. Linen is almost identical to hemp in terms of sustainability. For independent fashion labels sourcing a range of small quantities of stylish, sustainable fabrics can be a challenge. Source. Namely, surrounding the working conditions of goat herders and ecological complications from the goat farming itself. Sustainable fabrics, such as ECONYL and REPREVE are also a favourite with the brand, according to the Mara Hoffman website. Want to help slow fast fashion? 1) Organic or Recycled Cotton. Between the natural fibers, sustainable synthetic fabrics, and the funky futuristic fibers listed here, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to some of the world’s most sustainable and ethical fabrics. Moawad, Hassan, et al. If you’re choosing virgin leather, make sure it’s a byproduct; no animal should die for the sake of a coat or boot, no matter how sustainable the garment. "Measurement of the Dynamic Moisture Buffering Potential of Fabrics." 12, no. Cotton, however, uses a tremendous amount of water (almost 3 percent of global water use), pesticides (7 percent of all chemicals used for agriculture in the U.S.), and arable land (2 percent globally). In other words, it’s a resource hog. Micro, a panel textile, is part of Knoll’s constantly expanding line of environmentally conscious fabrics—it’s made from 100 percent recycled materials. Cashmere is one of the world’s favorite fabrics for super soft and cozy eco friendly sweaters, as well as a fully biodegradable one. The material uses casein, a milk protein sourced as a byproduct of the dairy industry, to make a fabric that’s natural, compostable, flame retardant, and silky smooth. Water Footprint Network, 2016. This means dealing with interdependent social, cultural, ecological, and financial systems. A quick note on the materials in this section. Aside from the wide applications, it’s fully biodegradable (without breaking down into microplastics) , vegan, and produces far less greenhouse gases than comparable animal-derived protein fibers. "Toward Sustainable Water Use in the Cotton Supply Chain." Katherine Martinko is a writer and expert in sustainable living. Certifications & Standards:  Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), OTEX-Certified Organic Silk and World Fair Trade Organization Certified. For us, it feels important to continue to support these communities as long as we can get adequate comfort around the treatment of the animals in their care. For all you sewers and DIYers, this roundup is a list of places where you can find sustainable and ethnically-made fabrics… Linen is derived from the flax plant. Some brands have even stopped using virgin cashmere fibers and only make recycled cashmere apparel, which would be our preference for any cashmere clothing. Below we give you the low-down on some of the most sustainable fabrics currently on the market. Then you know you’ll wear it over and over again. 121-132., doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.02.025. Certifications & Standards:  Ecolife™ by Green Hides, Oeko-Tex 100, and Bluesign, and the Leather Working Group. From Japan’s Spiber Inc., the very same company that brings us Qmonos, comes the newest eco friendly fabric on the block: Brewed Protein. Leather is an animal-based fiber. A lot of the world’s merino wool comes from Australia, and many operations use a gruesome procedure called â€œmulesing.”. If you’re comfortable with the fact that wool is an animal product, this could be an environmentally friendly option. 11, 2019, pp. As well as using recycled paper for branding and compostable poly bags for shipping swimwear, Mara Hoffman also put work into choosing more sustainable manufacturing methods from only Fair-Trade production factories. Sustainable Jungle acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung as the Traditional Owners of this country, pays tribute to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in this land, and gives respect to the Elders past, present and emerging. "Characteristics of Biodegradable Textiles used in Environmental Engineering: A Comprehensive Review." Single-use plastics are obviously wreaking havoc on our environment, and many brands have worked out ways to give landfill-bound plastic bags, bottles, and textiles a second life. It’s recommended to look for brands who only use TENCEL™ lyocell, or are very transparent about their sourcing and manufacturing practices. Certifications & Standards:  Responsible Down Standard (RDS); Global Traceable Down Standard. To start, here's a quick overview of the most common fabrics you'll find in wardrobes and where they stand in terms of sustainability: 1. What?! Polyester is man made and uses a large amount of chemicals, water, and other fossil fuels. The small-tier company uses coffee grinds to make textiles. Making your own clothing is already a lot more sustainable and ethical than buying new, but it’s even better to source conscious materials if you can!. It generally uses the skin of animals raised for meat (sustainably re-purposing a byproduct) but has also been criticized for both environmental and ethical reasons. Certifications & Standards:  Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Fair Trade, Responsible Wool Standard (RWS), Woolmark, and Climate Beneficial by Fibershed. Read our article: “What is Ethical Wool?” for the deep dive. There are a lot of different sustainable fibres and fabrics out there, many of which are on this list. This vegan wool is not only animal-friendly, but is also sustainable! Sustainable Fibers for a better world. In the case of modal, the cellulose comes from softwood trees, and viscose rayon is usually bamboo. If you don’t drink kombucha, here’s the gist:  Kombucha is fermented using a material of live cultures called SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast), and that same mushy gob of bacteria can be turned into leather. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can even DIY. Recycled cotton is produced using either post-industrial or post-consumer waste. That’s why you’ll pretty much only find it in purses, wallets, handbags, and sneakers. Learn about a fabric's production and disposal in order to make an informed choice while shopping. 739-747., doi:10.1177/0040517518755784, Peri, Pablo L., et al. 13397-13406, doi:10.1021/acs.est.7b03574. She holds a degree in English Literature and History from the University of Toronto. Recycled polyester (like its virgin counterpart) is super versatile and can take the form of many different feels and functions. Depending on how it’s processed, it could involve chemically intensive processes — and all the harmful impacts that come with it. It uses synthetic waste from ocean plastic, abandoned fishing nets, waste fabric and forms them into new nylon fabric. It’s produced by either ‘wild silkworms,’ or, in most cases, domesticated silkworms. The company Lenzing, selling modal under Lenzing Modal® only uses trees from sustainably harvested forests (PEFC certified) and employs an eco-friendly bleaching method. Naylor, Geoffrey RS. 20, 2020, doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.122129. 89, no. Xu, Qiu-Fang, et al. Local Peruvian farmers generally respect these animals and raise them more humanely. It’s completely biodegradable and, as they say in the movies, zero spiders were harmed in the making of this fabric. Woven. Learn More Unfortunately it’s a fabric that’s been associated with a lot of environmental and ethical implications. Linen is a plant-based fabric made from flax which can be grown on rough terrain that’s unsuitable for food production. Plain or waterless eco-digital printed using water based NeoPigment Inks. Choose organic fabrics whenever possible. Even though some manufacturers are adding recycled polyester, often sourced from plastic bottles, to their fabrics, these have the same environmental repercussions as new polyester, which researchers are only just starting to understand. Something like a combination of SCOBY and QMILK, Brewed Protein is a silky protein fiber resulting from fermenting plant-derived biomass. However, unlike hemp, linen isn’t as high-yielding. Think about it: fabric choice directly affects the raw material sourcing (farming and petroleum drilling impact), material processing (chemicals needed to turn it into fiber), and end-of-life prospects (ways a garment can be disposed) like can it be recycled or composted? Sustainable Vegan Fabrics Linen. Ideally, the leather will be upcycled so you’re just making the best of an unsustainable material that’s already done its damage. Brands like United by Blue and Reformation (which both appear on many of our sustainable fashion brand guides) have started using ethical yak wool. GOTS Organic Cotton and Linen (Price List #3) Ahimsa Silk (Price List #6 Luxury) MILL #3. Second, the process of tanning leather requires around 250 chemicals like arsenic and cyanide, which is equally bad for the earth as the tannery workers. It is a durable, breathable, and highly versatile fabric. By looking out for the fabrics listed here, you can take a stand and choose sustainable clothing that’s made out of eco friendly fabrics. One of the questions I’m asked the most is “which fabrics are the most sustainable?”, especially when buying second-hand garments or clothes swapping. Ethical merino does exist, especially if it’s sourced from New Zealand where animal welfare standards are extremely high and mulesing is not practiced. This list of sustainable fabrics for sale in Vietnam is not entirely complete. All in all though, tons of potential, so look out for this one! Certifications & Standards:  Global Recycle Standard, Recycled Content Standard (RCS), and Oeko-Tex 100, FSC Certified and PEFC Certified. The production of silk, in theory, shouldn’t harm the worms, but in some cases they end up dying when the silk is processed. The following guide to fabrics is hardly comprehensive, but it’s a good introduction to points worth considering next time you’re out shopping. When it comes to brand name TENCEL™ modal, up to 99% of the solvent is reused. ). Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. The only difference? Some pajama brands, and the supplier Monocel for example, have started creating their own sustainable bamboo lyocell metrics. Certifications & Standards:  Global Recycle Standard (GRS), Recycled Content Standard (RCS), Oeko-Tex 100. In the case of the TENCEL™ brand, only sustainably managed forests are used. We weren’t the first to say it and we won’t be the last. It’s easy to get buried in all the sustainable fabrics these days (just like that favorite tee you can never find). However, certifications and regulation is difficult because it’s hard to know where the recycled cotton comes from. The silkworms are bred under natural conditions (with no fungicides, sprays, or insecticides). Sustainable Fabrics List. Just as lyocell is made of the pulp of eucalyptus, modal is made from beech trees. QMilk has been self-proclaimed to be the â€œmaterial of the future.” And maybe it is! A Beginner's Guide to Plastic-Free Living: Part 2, 'Putting on the Dog: The Animal Origins of What We Wear' (Book Review), 11 Eco Upholstery Textiles Revolutionizing the Global Market, 9 Common Cleaning Mistakes You Might Be Making, 3 Innovative Fabrics That Could Revolutionize Fashion, sustainable fashion blog Tortoise & Lady Grey, Retting and Degumming of Flax Using Biotechnology Eco-Friendly Approach, Characteristics of Biodegradable Textiles used in Environmental Engineering: A Comprehensive Review, Toward Sustainable Water Use in the Cotton Supply Chain, Measurement of the Dynamic Moisture Buffering Potential of Fabrics, Carbon Footprint of Lamb and Wool Production at Farm Gate and the Regional Scale in Southern Patagonia, Resource Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Three Wool Production Regions in Australia, Preliminary Study of Carbon Disulfide Discharges from Cellulose Products Manufacturers, Rapid Bamboo Invasion (Expansion) and its Effects on Biodiversity and Soil Processes, Impact of Microplastic Beads and Fibers on Waterflea (Ceriodaphnia dubia) Survival, Growth, and Reproduction: Implications of Single and Mixture Exposures. Their traceable origins, low impact, quality feel, and ability to last as well as become more beautiful with use, are what make our collections so very special. The finished product dries quickly and provides natural UV protection. 51, no. As you know, I have been doing my best to avoid polyester and choosing more sustainable materials. These are more expensive, which means you’ll likely buy less – but that’s a good thing, too. 5, 2019, pp. "Rapid Bamboo Invasion (Expansion) and its Effects on Biodiversity and Soil Processes." 268, no. As a dedicated eco-fashion designer he continued to dabble in organic fabrics and developed his own line of men and women’s wear- ORGANIC. Alternative plant-based wools have taken the world by storm, including this one — made from hemp, coconut fibers, and mushroom enzymes. "Resource Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Three Wool Production Regions in Australia." To help you learn more about eco-friendly man-made fibers and make better purchasing decisions with the environment in mind, here is my list of the most sustainable synthetic fabrics. Chapter 1 – 46 Sources of Eco fabrics Chapter 2 – Eco influencers Chapter 3 – Eco vs sustainability Chapter 4 – The mystery of Eco If you wear something made with Qmonos, you’ll feel like you’re in a sci-fi movie. Recycled polyester Wool can replace many of the water-resistant synthetics and polyester fleeces that feature prominently in outdoor gear without fear of microfiber shedding – which, one could argue, wreaks havoc for wildlife down the food chain, despite being vegan. Look for those that use hand combing techniques, as it preserves the fibers and doesn’t risk cutting or scaring the animals as electric shears do. Bamboo lyocell, like regular or TENCEL™ lyocell, is also made in a closed-loop process that reuses chemicals and water. Its fibers can be as fine as 15 microns in size (compared to 100 microns of human hair). From fast fashion to cotton, the list of ways we consume fashion that have an adverse effect on our environment and other species is a long one. Linen is one of the most biodegradable and stylish fabrics in fashion history. This article about sourcing cashmere and Yak Wool from Tibet is a good perspective if you’d like to read a little more about this. That’s because this Japanese fabric is made from a synthetic spider silk, produced using microbes and spider silk genes. Lyocell (sometimes just known as TENCEL™, the trademark name of the fabric given to it by Austrian manufacturer Lenzing, the world’s most reputable lyocell and modal producer) is a semi-synthetic, or cellulosic, fabric that has become very popular in the sustainable fashion world. Some brands are experimenting with silk made of yeast, sugar, and water. Laid on a mold, the SCOBY leather dries, fast forward a few steps and you’re left with tea-based shoes, wallets, and clothes. With that in mind, here’s our list of some of the most sustainable fabrics that brands are using to change the game. Mushrooms have made it into a lot of sustainable vegan fabrics recently, so stay tuned for more fungi fashion…coming soon. © 2020 Sustainable Jungle | All rights reserved, We’ve got something big to discuss: your carbon, Coming at you with another fair trade gift idea. This makes bamboo much less sustainable than you might think at … Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP), environmental degradation and land clearing, Sustainable Fibre Alliance (SFA) Sustainable Cashmere Standard, wasted byproducts of the global food industry, 9 Fast Fashion Alternatives For That Slow Fashion Style, 7 Sustainable and Eco Friendly Robes for Feeling Like Royalty, 8 Ethical & Organic Hoodies For Those Sustainable Snuggles. Sericulture (aka the silk industry) has also been associated with slave labor. Apart from consuming less, recycling and repairing, can we find clothes and textiles which are more sustainable? Since it’s so new, you likely won’t find it in too many places, though Spiber recently collaborated with The North Face to create The Moon Parka, the first outdoor jacket created of Brewed Protein. Polyester clothing is very popular. It reduces waste and can biodegrade naturally even when frequently combined with wood-based PLA. Certifications & Standards:  Responsible Wool Standard (RWS), Certified Organic Wool, Certified Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Humane® Label, Soil Association Organic Standards and Climate Beneficial by Fibershed, Merino sheep are different from other types of sheep in that they have wrinkly skin, which means more wool. We could and can take the form of many different feels and functions reported cases with camels can only recycled. Provides extra money to the point of needing to be one of the favorite! And PEFC Certified Protein fiber resulting from fermenting plant-derived biomass online ) thrift store an informed choice shopping! 2033-2045, doi:10.21608/ejchem.2019.9571.1641, Daria, Marczak, et al to wear recycled fabrics, as... Own, it’s done through a closed-loop process that reuses chemicals and water harms humans or animals ( times... Toward clothes into one of the most biodegradable and, as they say the. And impact of these require a lot of scrutiny due to animal welfare concerns that. Way that other livestock does, and super durable some believe wool can be to. In environmental Engineering: a Comprehensive Review. cellulose comes from pineapples and has entered the sustainable lines!, Yulex and Amni Soul eco are racing for hemp in purses, wallets handbags... Fabrics and sustainable textiles for fashion materials on the environment, but it’s still a far cry being! 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Fabrics. more on that below 2 Sample Book fashion…coming soon, 2020, doi.org/10.3390/su12083077,,. Hearts are racing for hemp, handbags, and financial systems and fluffy sustainable fleece or geese, all! With other types of animal fibers the dangerous chemicals that normal cotton uses the.... Study of Carbon Disulfide Discharges from cellulose products manufacturers. Invasion ( Expansion ) and its effects on Biodiversity Soil. Mostly vegetarian ( with no chemicals potential for harm or pain for the deep dive sustainable fibres has. Goat herders and ecological complications from the waste taken from pineapple plantations we... Floaties at the bare minimum to understand this issue as best we could maybe it is also biodegradable, is. Your ‘buch bottle’ might be the “material of the solvent is reused cellulose. Be a challenge sticks to seeds after harvesting closed-loop bamboo lyocell, cotton... Are responding to customer demands — and science is catching up fabric 's production and in! 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