The fashion industry is one of the world’s biggest polluters. Fortunately, there are ways for you to reduce waste and still be stylish. Start by shopping smart: if you are going to buy something new, make sure it’s made out of an eco-friendly or sustainable fabric. If you’re not sure what your options are, check out the fabrics below.
This is a hardy and renewable material that doesn’t require a lot of chemicals during the growth process, or dyes once it’s turned into fabric. And as a fabric it’s amazing! It’s ultra soft, naturally breathable, odor-repellent, and is biodegradable. Avoid bamboo-rayon blends as those tend to use more chemicals during production.
This is another material that is super renewable and easy to grow. It doesn’t require fertilizers and uses minimal pesticides, plus it doesn’t deplete soil nutrients. As a fabric it’s soft and comfortable yet sturdy and durable.
This fabric is made from cellulose wood pulp, meaning it’s fully biodegradable. It also doesn’t require a lot of chemicals during the making process. Once converted to clothing, it absorbs color quickly (meaning less dyes are needed) yet is naturally breathable and super soft.
Regular cotton production uses alarming amounts of pesticides. Organic cotton is grown in a more natural way without harmful, toxic chemicals. This type of cotton is also more likely to use natural dyes.
Not all synthetics are bad! Reduce waste by going for a recycled option. More and more companies are starting to use recycled materials (not just from clothing, but from other plastic sources too) and are finding ways to reduce the amount of chemicals used during production.
Soy isn’t just for food. Its proteins contain fiber that can be turned into fabric, which will still remain biodegradable. It’s also breathable, absorbent, and contains amino acids that are good for the skin. Plus, it feels just as smooth as regular cashmere and silk.
This is probably the original sustainable fabric. It’s renewable and doesn’t require any chemicals to grow. However, not all wool is made equal. Make sure you are getting yours from a farm that treats the sheep humanely and doesn’t use toxic dyes.