GUIDE TO The Most and least sustainable fabrics
Sustainability in fashion is a complex topic, and it includes a wide range of factors, such as the impact of fabrics on the environment, social responsibility, and ethical production practices. Fabrics are one of the most crucial elements in the sustainability of fashion, as they have a significant impact on the environment and the social and economic conditions of the communities that produce them. In this answer, we will discuss the most sustainable and least sustainable fabrics and why using sustainable fabric suppliers is so important for your business.
Most Sustainable Fabrics:
Organic Cotton: Organic cotton is grown without the use of harmful pesticides and fertilizers, which can be hazardous to the environment and the people working in the fields. Organic cotton farming practices also conserve water and maintain soil fertility, making it a sustainable option.
Hemp: Hemp is a natural fibres that are grown without the use of pesticides and herbicides. It requires less water than cotton and has a lower carbon footprint. Hemp is also versatile and can be used in a range of products, including clothing, paper, and building materials.
Tencel/Lyocell: Tencel is a sustainable fabric made from wood pulp. It is produced using a closed-loop process that minimizes waste and uses less water and energy than traditional cotton production.
Linen: Linen is made from flax plants, which require less water than cotton and grow without the need for pesticides or fertilizers. Linen is also biodegradable and can last for a long time with proper care.
When finding sustainable fabric suppliers for any of your production make sure to ask for certifications to determine that the fabrics are genuinely sustainable. At Masala Threads, we provide full certifications and we do lab testing to show clients composition and all details.
Least Sustainable Fabrics:
Polyester: Polyester is a synthetic fabric made from petroleum-based products. It is non-biodegradable and can take up to 200 years to decompose. Polyester production also requires large amounts of energy and emits significant amounts of greenhouse gases. Sustainable fabric suppliers such as Masala Threads offer recycled polyester which is made using waste plastic bottles. Although this is great for using up such waste, we always make it clear that it still is non-biodegradable.
Acrylic: Acrylic is another synthetic fabric made from petroleum-based products. It is non-biodegradable and can take hundreds of years to decompose. Acrylic production also emits significant amounts of greenhouse gases and contributes to the depletion of non-renewable resources.
Rayon/Viscose: Rayon and viscose are made from wood pulp, which destroys trees and the production process involves the use of harmful chemicals that can be hazardous to the environment and the workers involved in the production. The process also requires large amounts of water and energy, making it a less sustainable option. Eco-vero, FSC certified viscose uses less chemicals and is offered by sustainable fabric suppliers. The Forest Stewardship Council, abbreviated as FSC, is an organization that promotes sustainable forest management practices. The label "FSC" indicates that the viscose material has been sourced from forests that are managed in a sustainable manner. This means that the use of wood from these forests does not harm the biodiversity or ecological balance of the forest.
Conventional Cotton: Conventional cotton is grown using harmful pesticides and fertilizers, which can be hazardous to the environment and the people working in the fields. Conventional cotton farming practices also require large amounts of water and can lead to soil degradation and loss of biodiversity.
It's essential to consider the environmental and social impact of fabrics when making purchasing decisions and choosing your sustainable fabric suppliers. Opting for sustainable options can help reduce the impact of fashion on the environment and the communities that produce it. To find out about our wide range of organic, handloom and recycled fabrics GET IN TOUCH!