Choosing something good for your skin and good for the environment can seem like a daunting task, especially talking about fashion. We never want our style to be compromised. It may seem like a huge weight has been placed on your shoulders, but it will seem much easier after reading this article. You may be curious as to what makes a sustainable fabric or eco-friendly fabric.
How to Pick a Fabric Based on Sustainability?
When we talk about a sustainable fabric, we mean choosing a textile that has not been produced with loads of chemicals or pesticides, with little to no harm to the environment. Also, looking for fabric that is eco-friendly certified. Here are a few things you should look for.
Mostly organic will be better for your skin and better for the environment.
If there are many dyes in the production phase, it cannot only be bad for your skin and the environment. It can also be bad for the employees handling the clothing before it gets to you.
If you can’t find something 100%, organic one of the best ways to keep sustainability in mind is choosing something with a mix of recycled material and organic fibers.
If a material feels cheap, it was probably produced wrong. If the price is too low, it was probably made the most inexpensive way possible, and you should go with your gut instinct. Slow fashion is about quality and not quantity.
Once you know the fabrics to look for and the brands to watch out for. This is one of the easiest ways to start living healthier by focusing on sustainability. There are some top brands to buy your fabrics from and a few brands where you can buy clothes with eco-friendly fabrics.
Fabrics You Should Pay Attention To And Where To Get Them
Though this may be a tad bit more expensive than other fabrics, this is the perfect example of sustainable fabric. If it is green and eco-friendly, it will last forever. However, if you buy a cheap version that is not 100% cashmere, it will be a waste of money. One of my favorite ways to wear cashmere is from a sweater. There are four colors to choose from, all making the perfect fall/winter shades. You can select light cream, beige, brown, and light grey.
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This plant is the one all be all in my book. Not only can it grow strong and healthy without any pesticides, but it can also be easily turned into an eco-friendly outfit. They can spin the hemp fibers into yarn-like material to create beautiful sweaters and clothes for consumers worried about sustainability.
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A very naturally occurring protein fiber collected from silkworms! Silk should be soft and feel like butter on your skin. It looks classy all the time, is perfect for the holidays and is one of the best sustainable fabrics to choose from. You can buy a silk blouse that will last you a lifetime if you take care of it properly. There is also vegan silk, which is not collected from the silkworms. It is collected from worm casing after the moths have hatched. This method of collecting the silk does not harm any animals.
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This is a flower that is related to the nettle family. However, you will not be itchy or have an allergic reaction to this flower-like, you may get from stinging nettles. It is only harvested a few times a year and uses way less water the cotton would. This is a good material to use for clothing because it is resistant to most bacteria, grows super strong, and creates a strong fiber that is way stronger than cotton. It is also hard to stain this material. If you’re like a messy eater and me, this may be the best material for you.
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Not all wool will be made equally, and you should always opt for the organic version of this material. Buying the organic version ensures that pesticides and chemicals are not used in the process. Believe it or not, the wool you may buy every day can harm the environment more. It is a durable fiber made from sheep, and you will want to make sure those sheep are treated ethically.
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There are a few other types of materials you can look for, like organic cotton, soy fabric, and linen. All those options are fantastic for focusing on sustainability and eco-friendly fabrics. The main thing is to research the brand. Every sustainable brand you see should be open about where they source, how they produce, and any dyes, including natural ones. If it seems like a brand is hiding something, it’s usually because they are. Now you know some of the best fabrics to go for, but I am sure you’re curious to learn about the materials you should avoid.
Fabrics to Avoid at All Cost
Sure, cotton is super breathable, I get it. Nonorganic cotton contributes to pollution, a ton of water use, and puts farmers at risk of very hazardous pesticides and chemicals. If it is dyed, it may irritate your skin. If the substances are super potent, it could cause massive irritation. Typically, where cotton grows has terrible soil, so the farmers must overcompensate for it. If you want cotton go for organic cotton.
I know when you think of nylon, you think of classy stockings for under your dress. Or even your activewear that you use. Yes, it is convenient, but it isn’t biodegradable. It will wear and tear very quickly, making it one of those fast fashion trends. Typically, nylon is also produced with harmful chemicals that pollute the environment.
This is a manmade fabric, and because of that, it contributes to a lot of pollution. It must be made in a factory, and they have to do a heavy manufacturing process to get this fiber. It has the same molecular structure as cellulose and comes from plants. However, it is not a sustainable fiber because of the intense process and how much they need to cut down. It is way more harmful to our environment and bodies.
You know the materials to avoid, it’s time to go out shopping. One of the best ways to focus on sustainability is by hitting up your local thrift store if you can’t afford anything new.
What are some of your favorite sustainable fabrics? Share this with your friends, and keep me posted on how you’re staying conscious while shopping!
Currently residing in New England, Kayla Eaton focuses on writing about her local area. Her favorite writing niches are in sustainability, clean beauty, and health. She writes for several online magazines and is a full-time freelance writer. Kayla Eaton wants to share her hometown with you while supporting some of the lesser-known shops and startups in the area. She believes focusing on the environment and the health of her community will create a massive change worldwide.