Many people believe that the only way to live an eco-friendly lifestyle is to cut down on the number of flights they take every single year and opt for a reusable coffee cup when they get their double-choca-mocha-chino in the morning – because you can’t start your day without it, right? Well, that isn’t the case! Conscious decisions can be made every single day, and they will all make a difference in the world, whether you can visibly notice it or not. One of the best and most eco-friendly ways to live sustainably is to change your wardrobe and buy clothes made from fabrics that won’t harm the environment. Yet, knowing which fabrics are eco-friendly can be difficult.
If you look in your wardrobe right now, we would bet you any money that you have countless T-shirts, underwear, sweatshirts, or even a suit that’s made from cotton. That’s because it’s one of the most widely used fabrics in the world. But are your garments made from organic cotton? As you might already know, cotton is made from the cotton plant – but its popularity has come at a price.
Because the demand for this fabric has become so high, the production of this material has become less and less sustainable. Many farmers grow their cotton plants on the same soil again and again, which leads to degrading soil quality and a lack of nutrients. As if that wasn’t enough, they also use pesticides and chemicals during the growing process. So, when choosing which fabrics are eco-friendly, organic cotton is up there.
Hands up if you love pineapple? There’s a high chance that you’re waving your hands in the air like you just don’t care right now because pineapple is a deliciously sweet fruit that can be eaten on its own – or in a drink after a long day. While many people believe that the leaves of a pineapple become redundant when they decide to cut the fruit up and eat it, a leather goods expert by the name of Dr. Carmen Hijosa soon learned that they could be used for something else.
Piñatex is now a hugely popular alternative to leather and is considered to be much more sustainable and eco-friendly. One of the main reasons for this is because it comes from a fruit, rather than an animal, which means that it’s also perfect for vegans!
Choosing which fabrics are eco-friendly doesn’t have to be difficult, because there are so many options out there. In fact, this particular option has been around since your parents went on holiday in ‘96 and embarrassed you with their matching linen trousers. While linen has often been laughed at in the fabrics world, it has since seen a resurgence – and that’s because it’s one of the most versatile eco-friendly fabrics that the world has to offer.
Often hailed as the “Original sustainable material,” the history of this fabric can actually be traced back to those who lived in Ancient Egypt, thanks to its ability to ward off high temperatures. Yet, it seems as though linen is also extremely eco-friendly, due to the fact that it’s made from the fibres of the flax plant.
Hemp has often struggled to make its mark on the eco-friendly fabrics world, and that’s because some people just can’t break the barrier between this fabric and its associations with hippies, peace, and love. However, when you see this fabric for exactly what it is – a fabric – you can appreciate just how sustainable it is. Hemp comes from the stem of the plant that has caused much controversy and debate over the years, and it’s incredibly easy and sustainable to cultivate.
In fact, it takes a relatively small amount of land to grow it, there’s very little water involved, and natural, organic hemp is made without the help of pesticides. The lightweight and versatile nature of the fabric can then be used for all kinds of clothing – and other products, too!
So, which fabrics are eco-friendly? With this choice of sustainable fabrics to choose from, you should have no problems creating a conscious wardrobe. Want more sustainable clothing choices? Check out our favourite sustainable fashion blogs for some inspiration!