Myths about Sustainable Fabrics
The topic of sustainability is everywhere. It becomes hard to detangle what's factual and what isn't.
List of Sustainable Fabrics
When we define sustainable fabric, it is imperative to know the source of the material, the way it is procured, and the growing process. Some fabrics require processing before using them. Few fabrics involve bleaching and other chemical processes, making them unhealthy for the environment. The last point of consideration is how the textile is disposed? If it ends up hampering the environment, it definitely cannot be categorized as a sustainable fabric.
Here is a list of sustainable fabrics that make your wardrobe ethical.
This type of cotton is grown without pesticides. It uses 62% less energy and 88% less water than conventional cotton.
The production involves using post-industrial or post-consumer waste. Despite several certifications and regulations, it is hard to know the source of recycled cotton.
It is one of the most eco-friendly fabrics. Organic hemp is healthy for the soil and requires less water. However, it is tough to grow and slightly more expensive than other sustainable fabrics.
This fabric is similar to hemp. It is light, breathable, and derived from the flax plant. The growth of this fiber requires fewer fertilizers and irrigation.
Bamboo consumes more carbon dioxide than some trees. It survives on rainfall and doesn’t require other inputs. There are multiple processes used to obtain organic bamboo fabric. If chemicals and intensive processing isn’t involved it becomes organic.
Recycled fabrics don't use any new materials or resources.
It helps in preventing fabric waste. Recycled polyester reduces the amount of plastic waste sent to landfills.
Five Myths About Sustainable Fabrics
There is a hullabaloo over eco-friendly fashion. The market trend is shifting - sustainable fabrics are gaining popularity among buyers. Nonetheless, confusion remains on this subject matter. Some assume these fabrics to be exorbitant, ugly, or boring.
Today, we will be busting five myths about sustainable fabrics.
Cotton is a Sustainable Fabric
Sustainable fabric refers to any fabric obtained from eco-friendly resources. They have sustainably grown crops or come from recycled materials. One of the major misbeliefs we would like to put to rest is that cotton is a sustainable material. It is considered a resource-hungry crop since it is one of the thirstiest crops in the world. Cotton is a cash crop, so farmers use excessive amounts of chemicals to ensure a good harvest. The excessive use of pesticides leads to soil degradation and water contamination.
However, better alternatives exist, like organic cotton and recycled cotton.
Sustainable Fashion is for The Privileged People
Eco-friendly fabrics don't only cater to the affluent class. Although sustainable brands are indeed expensive as compared to fast fashion brands. But it can be possible that the prices of fast fashion clothes are economical due to the manufacturers
cutting corners during production. In addition to providing living wages and reducing carbon footprints, sustainable brands also give benefits to their workers! All these reasons make the supply chain cost increase.
Vegan leather is Sustainable
Even though vegan leather is cruel- free it doesn’t mean it is sustainable. It is a common practice to use artificial materials like PVC and PU. These synthetic materials take many years to decompose. It also emits pollutants like chlorines and dioxins.
Animal lovers might rejoice in using vegan leather, but it is hard to claim whether it is earth-friendly or not? It is complex and more research is required in this domain.
Expensive Brands are Sustainable
People correlate the cost to eco-friendly fashion. They believe that the costlier the apparel, the more ecological it is. Luxury brands might not necessarily be more sustainable or ethical. Few parallels are drawn between fast fashion brands and
Luxury brands mostly try to bring out an exotic collection. They often use fur, genuine leather, reptile skin, and cashmere. Animal-based textile represents prestige. From handbags to coats and other accessories all are made of exotic skins and are highly priced. But these high prices do not mean they are
Sustainable Fashion is Boring
Individuals often associate sustainable fashion with basic and boring choices. They feel eco-friendly fabrics don’t make trendy looks. Mostly, sustainable fashion is based on essentials. However, some sustainable brands are catering to trendy fashion.
Even though sustainable brands are not flamboyant, they are more sophisticated and minimal. One can never go wrong with these brands.
Sustainability is not an end goal but a journey. This journey constantly compels the community to realign with nature and its needs.
Our main takeaway from this should be to abandon the all-or-nothing mentality. As individuals, we cannot live 100% sustainably. What matters is to make better choices for people and the earth whenever possible.