For decades, the production of textiles has been a major contributor to environmental pollution, with conventional fabrics like cotton, polyester, and nylon requiring vast amounts of water, energy, and chemicals to produce. This has resulted in greenhouse gas emissions, water pollution, and habitat destruction.
However, sustainable fashion being on the rise, there are now plenty of eco-friendly fabrics for apparel design available that can help reduce the industry's impact on the environment. These fabrics are made from natural, renewable materials that require fewer resources to produce and are often biodegradable, making them a more sustainable choice. As your fabric choice directly affects how raw materials are sourced, processed and disposed of at the end of their life cycle, here are 4 eco-friendly materials that can transform your wardrobe into an ethical one.
Learn More: 5 Trendy Fabrics to Look Out For
Did you know that bamboo can be harvested without the need to kill the plant itself? This also means that bamboo can re-grow really quickly and is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world. Compared to cotton, bamboo uses less water and doesn’t need pesticides to grow. It is often described as a sustainable material, but only when it is mechanically processed (otherwise known as bamboo linen).
Unprocessed bamboo fabrics are actually bamboo rayon that are usually made by dissolving plant cellulose in toxic chemicals before they are spun into fabric. This process destroys the original bamboo fibres and is dangerous for those involved in making them as well as the environment.
So, when you are out shopping, look out for sustainable garments that are made from organic bamboo or bamboo linen!
Silk is a material that is so soft, even the name is used as an adjective. It is perfect for your skin and great for the planet due to its antibacterial properties and complete compostability. Originally, silk is derived from silkworms that survive by eating only mulberry tree leaves, which are resistant to pollution and easy to grow.
The characteristics of the plant make silk production a low-waste ordeal, but since silk requires animal labour, it is important to vet for brands that use ethical production methods like Peace silk.
Modal is a semi-synthetic fabric made from beech trees, known for its excellent comfort and breathability. Although the pulp of the tree is natural, the process to produce modal involves chemicals like sodium hydroxide but way lower than the amount needed to do rayon, a totally unsustainable fabric.
Modal is often used in making undies, PJs, sheets and towels thanks to its delicate and softer properties.
Tencel is an eco-friendly material that is gaining popularity in the fashion industry due to its many sustainable properties. It is a brand name for lyocell, a type of rayon made from wood pulp cellulose. One of the reasons Tencel is considered eco-friendly is because it is derived from renewable wood sources, primarily eucalyptus trees, which require less water and pesticides than cotton.
Tencel is known for its softness, durability, and versatility, making it suitable for a wide range of clothing, from activewear to formal wear. It is also moisture-wicking, breathable, and resistant to wrinkles, making it a popular choice for travelers and those seeking low-maintenance clothing options.
If you are looking for ethically sourced fabrics that are sustainable to lower your carbon footprint, do consider reading the garment label and the type of fabric they use. If you are an aspiring designer who would like to know more about fabric and textiles, sewing lessons as well as attend dressmaking courses in Singapore, we have just the short course for you! Contact TaF.tc today to know more.
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