What makes a material sustainable? To put it in simple words, sustainable materials are those that do not overuse non-renewable energy resources (fossil fuel, for instance), do not interfere with the natural balance of our ecology, and do not add to the world’s burden of waste products. When you want to embrace the conscious way of life, saying yes to sustainable fashion items would put you a step ahead in your journey.
What are the benefits of using sustainable fashion materials?
- Synthetic fiber use up a lot of natural resources, whereas sustainable fashion materials don’t
- Sustainable fibers are biodegradable, so they do not end up burdening the landfills further
- Thanks to the strength and longevity of sustainable fabrics, the clothes last long
- In most cases, the material has moisture-wicking properties
- They can be blended with other fabrics easily
- From raw materials to the production process, every step is transparent and eco-conscious when it comes to sustainable fabrics
Let’s dive into some of the best sustainable fashion materials you can get your hands on—bamboo, cork, hemp, nettle, Tencel, and Pinatex. Whether you’re a consumer or a designer, this information is vital for both.
Known for its strength and resilience, bamboo is an excellent material for making sustainable fashion items. Growing bamboo is considerably easy, and the plants do not need heavy watering. The fabric made out of bamboo is soft, durable, and antibacterial. Thanks to its moisture-wicking nature, bamboo fabrics are ideal for tropical weather conditions. The fabric is also hypoallergenic, so people with sensitive skin can wear clothes made out of bamboo.
Another useful sustainable fashion material is cork leather. An ideal alternative to animal leather, this material is strong, durable, and water-resistant. It’s entirely plant-based (made from the bark shavings of cork oak tree), with no chemicals involved in the making process. Thanks to its versatile nature, cork leather is used in making a wide array of fashion accessories, such as cardholders, wallets, bags, belts, and so on.
Hemp has been used in making clothes ever since ancient times, and even today, the popularity of this fabric remains the same. Owing to the thermoregulating property of hemp, it keeps you comfortable during hot and humid months and keeps you warm during winters. So you can wear hemp clothing pretty much all year round. The production process of hemp utilizes lesser resources and lesser chemicals as compared to cotton, so quite naturally, it’s a highly sustainable option. And the best part? It’s a carbon-negative material, which means hemp plants absorb more carbon from the environment than what it produces.
Nettle is yet another eco-friendly material widely used for making fabrics. Thanks to the unique structure of this natural fiber, nettle offers a subtle sheen. It blends well with other fabrics and makes the material sturdy, soft, and durable. This fabric made of nettle is generally called Ramie, but it’s also known as China grass. The end result of weaving the nettle fiber together is a fabric that looks somewhat like linen, but it’s way stronger.
At a time when our landfills are filled to the brim and the world is looking for ways to manage all the waste, Tencel fabric is a ray of hope. Made from eucalyptus, birch, or trees of similar species, this fabric is biodegradable and compostable. In the textile industry, it is used as a sustainable alternative to silk and cotton. It can be used solo or blended with cotton for making a slightly shiny, durable material. Be it for making dresses, shirts, or sportswear, Tencel is a sustainable choice.
Another vegan alternative for animal leather, Pinatex is a fiber derived from pineapple leaves. The end result is a cruelty-free, lightweight, and versatile fabric. Thanks to the high tensile strength of the material, it lasts long. Besides clothing, Pinatex can be used in car interior upholstery, wallets, bags, and shoes.
Be it fashion or everyday necessities, if you care for the planet, choose sustainable alternatives. At EcoLife, you’ll find a wide collection of eco-friendly, zero-waste products that are good for you and the planet. Check out our collection today!