As public concern about climate change grows, the $2.5 trillion global fashion sector is under pressure from consumers and governments to reduce its environmental and social footprint. As a result, textile makers, who were traditionally primarily concerned with performance and pricing, are now producing various materials to meet rising demand from brands for “ethical” fabrics.

A shift in consumer values is fuelling the desire for innovative materials. According to survey after survey, people say they prefer to buy apparel from so-called sustainable labels and are willing to pay extra for it. In addition, collective initiatives such as the United Nations’ Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action and French President Emmanuel Macron’s Fashion Pact have incited brands ranging from Burberry to Nike to Inditex to significantly reduce carbon emissions their businesses and supply chains.

To say the least, the textile industry is complex. While many of us do not consider the lifespan of our clothing daily, our clothes have a complex lifespan, carbon footprint, and human impact before they even reach our homes. The tremendous effect our dress has on the environment and the lives of garment workers make it critical that we consider the longevity of our clothing and become better educated on what defines an eco-friendly and sustainable garment – and what does not.

Here is a list of some of the most sustainable textiles being used by brands to change the game.

1. Organic Cotton

Cotton is one of the most widely used textiles in clothing and bedding, and the United States is one of the world’s top producers. Unfortunately, conventionally grown cotton has a substantial carbon footprint. In addition, it is one of the most frequently treated crops, as it employs a myriad of toxic chemicals and insecticides. It also requires a substantial quantity of land and water to grow, making it a resource-intensive crop.

That is why it is critical to choose organic cotton. Organic cotton production utilizes 62 percent less energy and 88 percent less water than traditional cotton farming. Organic cotton has the potential to become the new norm, but customers must demand it.

2. Recycled Cotton

Recycles cotton is made from either post-industrial or post-consumer waste.

Many slow fashion firms use it for a good reason. Your favorite ethical cotton underwear or sustainable blue jeans could be manufactured from fabric scraps from the industry or other recycled cotton products.
Recycled cotton helps to keep fashion waste out of landfills.

3. Organic Hemp

Hemp is one of the most environmentally friendly natural fibers available.
It produces a high yield, its growth is beneficial to the soil (owing to a process known as phytoremediation), and it consumes far less water than cotton.

It is regarded as a carbon-negative raw material. It does absorb CO2 from the atmosphere.
Hemp is slightly more expensive than other sustainable organic fabrics because it has many benefits and is more challenging to grow, but we should expect to see more.

4. Organic Linen

Linen is another natural plant-based material that will biodegrade after use, making it a more environmentally friendly option. Linen is regarded as one of the most eco-friendly textiles used today in the production of clothing and bedding since it does not require the use of pesticides and can be created utilizing the complete flax plant.

5. Organic Bamboo (Aka Bamboo Linen)

Bamboo can be harvested without causing harm to the plant. That means bamboo can regenerate quickly (one of the world’s fastest-growing plants).

Bamboo, like hemp, consumes more CO2 than some trees. However, it does not require many inputs and can thrive alone on rainwater.

6. Cork

The material has become famous for vegan purses and shoes for a good reason.
Cork is sustainably obtained from cork oaks by simply shaving away the bark. Quercus suber may and should be harvested to prolong its life.

7. Econyl

To go through the fundamentals of recycled materials, Econyl is nothing more than recycled nylon.

Is nylon, however, environmentally friendly?

It recycles synthetic waste like ocean plastics, abandoned fishing nets, and waste fabric to create fresh nylon fabric.

While it has the same feel as nylon, this fabric is created in a closed-loop technique and requires less water.

8. Recycled Polyester

Recycled polyester is exceptionally adaptable and may take on a variety of textures and uses. From thin and light stretchy ethical activewear to thick and fluffy sustainable fleece, recycled polyester may be utilized to manufacture it all.

For years, sustainable fashion brands such as Patagonia, prAna, and Reformation have used them.

9. Modal

Modal is a semi-synthetic fabric that is well-known for its superior comfort and breathability.

Modal is a wood product created from beech trees.

A unique textile manufactured by spinning cellulose from the beechwood tree. Because beechwood trees regenerate independently, they are regarded as a sustainable raw resource that may be used to make the novel modal fabric. Modal is also 50% more absorbent than cotton and silky smooth, making it an excellent choice for athletic and underwear designers.

10. Tencel

TENCELTM is one of the most innovative fibers being developed today. TENCELTM is made from the eucalyptus tree, which does not require any toxic herbicides or insecticides to flourish. In addition, when compared to cotton, eucalyptus trees use substantially less area to produce the same amount of cloth.
Moreover, the TENCELTM yarn manufacturing process is powered by 100 percent renewable energy and consumes 80 percent less water.

Thanks to organizations like tentree that are actively working to transform how the fashion industry creates clothes and affects the world, the future of sustainable fashion is loaded with innovation and sustainable business methods. This is a warning to fast fashion: your days are numbered.

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March 14, 2022 — ShopParty