Be honest, how many times have you been a victim of an impulse purchase? Nowadays, most of us have too many clothes in our closet, but what is even worse, a lot of it has never been worn. Probably never will be. It will just sit there and collect dust because some time ago clever advertisements convinced us that that item was the must-have of the season, and it looked amazing on the mannequin. Fast fashion is all about out with the old, in with the new. This wouldn’t be a problem except that these days new collections arrive every month, and old ones end up in the landfills. In addition, since these items need to be produced as quickly as possible, they are made from unsustainable materials, in a process that is polluting our planet. Basically, fast fashion is killing our planet, one shirt at a time. If you want to reduce your ecological footprint and be more eco-friendly, buying clothes made from sustainable fabrics should be on your list. But which fabrics are most sustainable?
It has been cultivated for centuries on almost every continent and it has been used in clothing, ropes, and sails. The fiber produced from pure hemp is similar to linen and it can be mixed with other natural fibers to create fabrics that possess the durability of hemp and the softness of cotton. This is very likely the most sustainable fabric in the world. Hemp is a densely growing plant that doesn’t require any harsh chemical herbicides to grow. In addition, it naturally reduces pests, so pesticides are not required either. This plant is gentle on the earth, requires very little water and needs a relatively small amount of land to cultivate. Therefore, if you can choose between a shirt made from cotton and one made from hemp, opt for the latter.
Thanks to our four-legged friends the sheep, this fabric is renewable, as well as biodegradable, recyclable, and can be produced organically. If you believe that only sweaters are made from wool, you couldn’t be more wrong. So many items are made from this fabric, such as suits, pants, shirts, coats, mittens, gloves, underwear, dresses, and so on. Even running socks for athletes which you can find online here are made from wool, and are very popular due to their ability to keep you warm as well as dry.
Lyocell fiber is made from the pulp of trees so it is compostable as well as biodegradable. It is manufactured using an environmentally responsible production process, so waste products are minimal and harmless. Lyocell is a great alternative to viscose since it can be recycled, which makes it an eco-friendly fiber.
If you open your closet and check out the labels, you will see that most of your clothes are made from cotton. This is not surprising since this is one of the most used fabrics in the textile industry. However, growing cotton has a lot of flaws, from a large number of used pesticides to water usage. On the other hand, organic cotton is a more sustainable option since the production process doesn’t include so many chemicals that are polluting the planet. However, the best option is still recycled cotton that is made using post-industrial and post-consumer cotton waste. It reduces water and energy consumption and keeps tons of clothes out of landfills.
If you want to live a ‘greener’ life and be more eco-friendly, buy only those items you really need and wash them only when they are dirty. A lot of people wash their clothes after they have worn them just once, but that really isn’t necessary and is a huge waste of water and electricity. You can also check out thrift stores and garage sales before you buy anything brand new. With some simple changes you can shop responsibly and significantly reduce your ecological footprint.