121-132., doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.02.025. In the case of the TENCELâ¢ brand, only sustainably managed forests are used. Certifications & Standards: Forest Stewardship Council, USDA-Certified Organic, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Organic Content Standard (OCS), Fair Trade, Oeko-Tex 100, and Bluesign. Natural Sustainable Fibres Sustainability has been part of our DNA since we started out in 1995 â which, naturally, includes our yarns. While the raw crop is biodegradable, the chemicals required to transform it into fabric, including carbon disulfide, are unsafe. The New York Times explains: The source of cellulose is also questionable. Thatâs right â no animals were harmed in this type of silk fabric production. While weâre at it, we should also talk about recycled polyester, or rPET. Shipping Worldwide. As a natural fiber, wool can be considered an alternative to plastic / petroleum-based synthetics like nylon and polyester. "Toward Sustainable Water Use in the Cotton Supply Chain." Itâs high-yielding, its growth is healthy for the soil (thanks to a process called phytoremediation), and it requires much less water than cotton. Not only that, but the production of wool has been associated with a range of animal welfare and ethical concerns. Want to help slow fast fashion? In countries like Thailand or Myanmar, lotus fibres have been used for rare fabrics for centuries as the time-consuming process produces a luxurious fabric that feels like a combination of silk and raw linen. Fabrics made from apples and pineapples? This makes bamboo much less sustainable than you might think at â¦ The following guide to fabrics is hardly comprehensive, but it’s a good introduction to points worth considering next time you’re out shopping. Leaders in education and fabrics within sustainable fashion, they have a wonderfully diverse range of ethical fabrics. Aside from the wide applications, itâs fully biodegradable (without breaking down into microplastics) , vegan, and produces far less greenhouse gases than comparable animal-derived protein fibers. It can be cultivated and processed without chemicals, though this is more commonly found in Europe and less so in China. Donât be sheepish about asking brands the hard questions around transparent sourcing practices. My sewing patterns are versatile and timeless, which is an important aspect in creating a more sustainable wardrobe. Ethical merino does exist, especially if itâs sourced from New Zealand where animal welfare standards are extremely high and mulesing is not practiced. Download file: Sustainable Fabrics Price list Please CONTACT US HERE for orders from our SUSTAINABLE FABRIC RANGE (listed above) While this is both a recycled and semi-natural fabric (and thus far more sustainable than any non-recycled synthetic), it is one of the least sustainable on this list. These fibres donât break down as they are made from plastic, creating tonnes of pollution . The fabrics are also both super light and breathable. The local factories separate the strands and felt them together into a non-woven, leather-like fabric that can be used for clothes, footwear, furniture and accessories, just like the bag below. Modal is another semi-synthetic fabric thatâs known for its top-notch comfort and breathability. It comprises addressing the whole system of fashion. This means dealing with interdependent social, cultural, ecological, and financial systems. Only a few eco-friendly options exist. To start, here's a quick overview of the most common fabrics you'll find in wardrobes and where they stand in terms of sustainability: 1. The company Lenzing, selling modal under Lenzing Modal® only uses trees from sustainably harvested forests (PEFC certified) and employs an eco-friendly bleaching method. And the brands that use them are staking their claim for a better fashion future. The biggest issue with wool is the methane emissions from burping sheep. Xu, Qiu-Fang, et al. Plain or waterless eco-digital printed using water based NeoPigment Inks. The small-tier company uses coffee grinds to make textiles. Local Peruvian farmers generally respect these animals and raise them more humanely. This vegan wool is not only animal-friendly, but is also sustainable! It harms humans or animals (often times both) in its production and will usually sit rotting in landfills for hundreds of years. "Measurement of the Dynamic Moisture Buffering Potential of Fabrics." Its fibers can be as fine as 15 microns in size (compared to 100 microns of human hair). Yaks shed profusely year round, and thus harvesting the fur doesnât actually directly involve the animal in any way, and it makes use of something that would otherwise just biodegrade in nature. Itâs recommended to look for brands who only use TENCELâ¢ lyocell, or are very transparent about their sourcing and manufacturing practices. This article about sourcing cashmere and Yak Wool from Tibet is a good perspective if youâd like to read a little more about this. By looking out for the fabrics listed here, you can take a stand and choose sustainable clothing thatâs made out of eco friendly fabrics. This is called ‘bamboo linen’ but it’s harder to find and more expensive. Certifications & Standards: Global Recycle Standard, Recycled Content Standard (RCS), and Oeko-Tex 100, FSC Certified and PEFC Certified. Certifications & Standards: Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Oeko-Tex 100, Woolmark. This is my list of vegan fabrics to build your sustainable vegan wardrobe with. Down and feather apparel and bedding are in high demand, but also receive a lot of scrutiny due to animal welfare concerns. Additionally, the fabric has been associated with a lot of pollution in its production phase. Not only does it pollute, but the materials that make up the fabrics used directly impacts and contributes to: consumption of water , microplastic pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, soil degradation, rainforest destruction and lastly landfill waste of epic proportions. A Beginner's Guide to Plastic-Free Living: Part 2, 'Putting on the Dog: The Animal Origins of What We Wear' (Book Review), 11 Eco Upholstery Textiles Revolutionizing the Global Market, 9 Common Cleaning Mistakes You Might Be Making, 3 Innovative Fabrics That Could Revolutionize Fashion, sustainable fashion blog Tortoise & Lady Grey, Retting and Degumming of Flax Using Biotechnology Eco-Friendly Approach, Characteristics of Biodegradable Textiles used in Environmental Engineering: A Comprehensive Review, Toward Sustainable Water Use in the Cotton Supply Chain, Measurement of the Dynamic Moisture Buffering Potential of Fabrics, Carbon Footprint of Lamb and Wool Production at Farm Gate and the Regional Scale in Southern Patagonia, Resource Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Three Wool Production Regions in Australia, Preliminary Study of Carbon Disulfide Discharges from Cellulose Products Manufacturers, Rapid Bamboo Invasion (Expansion) and its Effects on Biodiversity and Soil Processes, Impact of Microplastic Beads and Fibers on Waterflea (Ceriodaphnia dubia) Survival, Growth, and Reproduction: Implications of Single and Mixture Exposures. Of course, itâs done through a closed-loop process that recycles nearly all the water. Just as lyocell is made of the pulp of eucalyptus, modal is made from beech trees. For starters, leather comes either from killing 1 billion animals per year for its own sake or from the meat industry as a byproduct (which is better, but still not great since the meat industry is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and heart breaking unethical treatment of animals). There are also concerns about some of the toxic substances in PET bottles and the effects upon the wearer. Could Wool Fibers Replace Glass Fibers in FRP? Alpacas are related to camels and most of the worldâs alpaca population is still raised in their native habitat (in Peru, generally). In the case of modal, the cellulose comes from softwood trees, and viscose rayon is usually bamboo. While it uses similar production processes of unsustainable viscose rayon, it does so with far less waste and chemicals involved using the same closed-loop production process of recycling water and solvents thatâs also used for lyocell. ), PiÃ±atex comes from pineapples and has entered the sustainable fashion world as a sustainable and cruelty-free replacement for leather. So that you don't have to search as far and wide as I did, I created this long and growing list below of online fabric shops that claim to sell exclusively organic and sustainable fabrics. For independent fashion labels sourcing a range of small quantities of stylish, sustainable fabrics can be a challenge. We understand that many reading this would opt for the fabrics above â power to you! She holds a degree in English Literature and History from the University of Toronto. If youâre feeling really adventurous, you can even DIY. Certifications & Standards: Global Recycle Standard, Recycled Content Standard (RCS), and Oeko-Tex 100. The silkworms are bred under natural conditions (with no fungicides, sprays, or insecticides). Sustainable Fibers for a better world. Something like a combination of SCOBY and QMILK, Brewed Protein is a silky protein fiber resulting from fermenting plant-derived biomass. Virgin polyester is known as one of the least sustainable fabrics out there. To cover our recycled material basics (of the big synthetic material culprits), Econyl is simply recycled nylon. That cup of coffee can go a little further with S.Cafe. Even though some manufacturers are adding recycled polyester, often sourced from plastic bottles, to their fabrics, these have the same environmental repercussions as new polyester, which researchers are only just starting to understand. But as weâve said before, not all lyocell is the same. The only difference? Senior Writer. It reduces waste and can biodegrade naturally even when frequently combined with wood-based PLA. "Characteristics of Biodegradable Textiles used in Environmental Engineering: A Comprehensive Review." Often seen as a vegan alternative to silk due to its properties, viscose can have severe impacts on forests, workers and local communities. Mushrooms have made it into a lot of sustainable vegan fabrics recently, so stay tuned for more fungi fashionâ¦coming soon. The main reason our hearts are racing for hemp? 21, 2020, p. e00787, doi:10.1016/j.gecco.2019.e00787, Ziajahromi, Shima, et al. Camel wool is totally biodegradable and doesnât require dyes or chemicals during processing. The type of camel used, the Bactrian camel, sheds naturally. All the gorgeous fabrics from Austin, Texas based-Mod Green Pod are made of 100 percent certified organic cotton grown in the United States. Environmental Protection Agency, 2011. On its own, itâs fully biodegradable, as well as waterproof, breathable, and super durable. Other pertinent certifications ensure fair pay and safe conditions for farmers (though not being exposed to chemicals in the field is already a huge component in that regard). 20, 2020, doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.122129. Bamboo’s popularity is soaring these days, and as a result you can find it in everything from lingerie to eco friendly sunglasses. This means that your favorite ethical cotton undies or blue jeans could be made from industry fabric scrap or other recycled cotton garments. What we know now is that every wash releases plastic microfibers into waterways and these persist indefinitely, contaminating lakes and oceans and getting ingested by animals and, indirectly, by humans. The New York Times writes: A good quick intro to the microfiber pollution problem is this video from The Story of Stuff. While, that might not be entirely true, there is an incredibly harmful process used to make the synthetic material. Plus, wool fabrics can biodegrade naturally. Itâs produced by either âwild silkworms,â or, in most cases, domesticated silkworms. Because weâre animal lovers, we needed to understand this issue as best we could. Theirs is also carbon-neutral and made only from wood harvested from certified sources â all reasons to prioritize brands that stick to Lenzingâs TENCELâ¢ modal. Below we give you the low-down on some of the most sustainable fabrics currently on the market. Organic cotton, hemp, linen, peace silk, handwoven textiles, recycled polyester, reclaimed deadstock, wool and milk. Patagonia is a brand that has put out a very clear statement about their use of down and how they ensure traceability from farm to factory. Another vegan leather option, Apple Eco Leather (or Pellemela, as it was originally known in Italian) is made from a waste of the apple juice industry. In a previous article, we mentioned that hemp is one of the most eco-friendly natural fabrics around. It also provides extra money to the nomadic herders that look after these herds. Katherine Martinko is a writer and expert in sustainable living. Depending on how itâs processed, it could involve chemically intensive processes â and all the harmful impacts that come with it. ). If you donât drink kombucha, hereâs the gist: Kombucha is fermented using a material of live cultures called SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast), and that same mushy gob of bacteria can be turned into leather. Cotton, however, uses a tremendous amount of water (almost 3 percent of global water use), pesticides (7 percent of all chemicals used for agriculture in the U.S.), and arable land (2 percent globally). In other words, it’s a resource hog. However, like cotton, there is an alternative gaining popularity. "Preliminary Study of Carbon Disulfide Discharges from Cellulose Products Manufacturers." Lyocell (sometimes just known as TENCELâ¢, the trademark name of the fabric given to it by Austrian manufacturer Lenzing, the worldâs most reputable lyocell and modal producer) is a semi-synthetic, or cellulosic, fabric that has become very popular in the sustainable fashion world. Also known as âAhisma Silkâ the nonviolent production process allows the silkworm to live a natural and humane life and eventually evolve into a butterfly. From fast fashion to cotton, the list of ways we consume fashion that have an adverse effect on our environment and other species is a long one. You may smell like a latte all day ð (though we wouldnât complain about that either), but youâll be dry, comfy, and eco-friendly while doing so! Micro, a panel textile, is part of Knollâs constantly expanding line of environmentally conscious fabricsâitâs made from 100 percent recycled materials. What were once futuristic fabrics are now becoming a reality. Certifications & Standards: Recycled Claim Standard (RCS); The Global Recycled Standard (GRS), Re.VerSo, Sustainable Fibre Alliance (SFA) Sustainable Cashmere Standard, Kering Standard on Cashmere, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Fair Trade, Responsible Wool Standard (RWS), Certified Organic Wool, Certified Animal Welfare Approved, Certified HumaneÂ® Label, Oeko-Tex 100, and Climate Beneficial by Fibershed. Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. SCOBY-based leather obviously doesnât require animals, is biodegradable, requires zero heavy metals and other tanning chemicals, and is significantly cheaper than genuine leather, too. Certifications & Standards: Ecolifeâ¢ by Green Hides, Oeko-Tex 100, and Bluesign, and the Leather Working Group. More Synthetic Microfibers Now End up on Land Than in Water, What You Should Know About Sustainable Vegan Fabrics, Report Condemns Environmental Impact of Fast Fashion, How Rainforest Destruction Hides in Our Clothes. Cupro (also known as cupra) is a type of vegan silk alternative made with either recycled cotton garments, or cotton linter, a waste byproduct of cotton farming. Recycled polyester can be used to make everything from thin and light stretchy activewear to thick and fluffy sustainable fleece. Â© 2020 Sustainable Jungle | All rights reserved, Weâve got something big to discuss: your carbon, Coming at you with another fair trade gift idea. The fabric for rayon clothes made in China likely comes from countries where old-growth rainforests are being destroyed to make way for bamboo, planted specifically for textile manufacturing.. 268, no. It is also biodegradable, which is a huge plus, considering the damage being caused by synthetic fabrics. More on that below. Summer Edwards, the knowledgeable voice behind sustainable fashion blog Tortoise & Lady Grey, writes: Cotton is a natural plant-based fiber used in clothing, furniture, and other textile blends, such as rayon and synthetics. Cashmere is one of the worldâs favorite fabrics for super soft and cozy eco friendly sweaters, as well as a fully biodegradable one. Where animal welfare is a concern with other types of wool, there have been less reported cases with camels. Kombucha drinkers, rejoice! Textile Research Journal, vol. When bamboo is harvested, it can be done without killing the plant itself. Just note some Pinatex brands also cover it in non-biodegradable resins which sort of defeats the point. And it also means finding the same essential techno-features, comfort and performances of all the best techno-fabrics. Sustainable fabrics, such as ECONYL and REPREVE are also a favourite with the brand, according to the Mara Hoffman website. Certifications & Standards: Responsible Down Standard (RDS); Global Traceable Down Standard. We promise, itâs not as gross as it sounds. To help you learn more about eco-friendly man-made fibers and make better purchasing decisions with the environment in mind, here is my list of the most sustainable synthetic fabrics. Egyptian Journal of Chemistry, vol. Some brands are experimenting with silk made of yeast, sugar, and water. Linter is the short fuzz that sticks to seeds after harvesting. On the positive side, environmentally friendly fabrics are easy (mostly) to find â if you know where to look. Until then, if youâre looking for sustainable silk, Peace Silk is the way to go. Sericulture (aka the silk industry) has also been associated with slave labor. Still, even vegetable tanned leather isnt perfect because it takes a long time to biodegrade (despite the fact that itâs technically a natural fiber). Linen is one of the most biodegradable and stylish fabrics in fashion history. Natural, sustainable fabrics have the advantage of being biodegradable and avoid using the plastics that go hand in hand with the fossil fuel industry. These are more expensive, which means you’ll likely buy less – but that’s a good thing, too. While weâre excited about this fabric and all the possibilities for eco friendly swimwear itâs opened up, it has still been associated with some of those annoying microplastics that end up in our waterways. Its versatility is one of itâs sustainable strong suits, as it can be processed into fine silk-like strands, cashmere-like yarns, or hardened into a resin similar to that of a tortoise shell. However, animal agriculture, specifically that which involves ducks and gees, has been associated with inhumane practices so we always want to look for certifications that confirm no foul play is involved and that no animals are harmed purely for the purpose of harvesting their feathers. Itâs harvested from either the outer-coat (which yields a coarser fiber) or the undercoat (which yields a softer fiber) of Yaks raised free range on the Tibetan Plateau. It actually absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere. 122, 2016, pp. Down does come from ducks or geese, after all. As you can imagine, silk is great for the skin (thanks to antibacterial properties) and great for the planet (thanks to itâs complete compostability). It sure sounds pretty futuristic. A more sustainable alternative to conventional cotton is the organic version of the material. Polyester is man made and uses a large amount of chemicals, water, and other fossil fuels. Because it has so many benefits (like being naturally sun protective and antimicrobial) and is harder to grow, hemp tends to be slightly more expensive than other sustainable organic fabrics, though we can expect to see more of it in the future. Certifications & Standards: Oeko-Tex 100, Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP), Forest Stewardship Council. Peace Silk uses a humane type of sericulture and verifies its production under the World Fair Trade Organization Guarantee system. Those otherworldly floaties at the bottom of your âbuch bottleâ might be the leather of the future. While this is both a recycled and semi-natural fabric (and thus far more sustainable than any non-recycled synthetic), it is one of the least sustainable on this list. It includes hemp , Yulex and Amni Soul Eco . Lenzingâ¢, the brand responsible for most of the worldâs lyocell and modal has recently released a new type of viscose fiber â Ecovero. A lot of the worldâs merino wool comes from Australia, and many operations use a gruesome procedure called âmulesing.â. Piñatex is a leather-like sustainable fabrics is made from the waste taken from pineapple plantations. For all you sewers and DIYers, this roundup is a list of places where you can find sustainable and ethnically-made fabricsâ¦ 739-747., doi:10.1177/0040517518755784, Peri, Pablo L., et al. Fashion bloggers Ellie and Elizabeth at Dress Well Do Good share the following advice: Or, as Carrie Bradshaw once said, never buy anything that’s less than fabulous. Wool can replace many of the water-resistant synthetics and polyester fleeces that feature prominently in outdoor gear without fear of microfiber shedding – which, one could argue, wreaks havoc for wildlife down the food chain, despite being vegan. Learn More TENCEL, and MODAL 100% plus blends. Moawad, Hassan, et al. For us, it feels important to continue to support these communities as long as we can get adequate comfort around the treatment of the animals in their care. Itâs essentially a food byproduct, made from scrap pineapple leaves that are otherwise burned. Lately, more and more people are becoming more aware of what they purchase. Is there time for one last sustainable fashion guide before the holidays? Both of these require a whole host of chemicals to plasticize the pulp into silky fibers. Itâs sourced from goats raised in the mountainous regions of Asian countries like Mongolia. There is a wonderful array of vegan textiles that are genuinely sustainable. Camel wool is considered to be one of the most sustainable types of animal fibers.
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