The world is slowly shifting towards everything organic, natural and eco-friendly, as we struggle to repair the damage we’ve done to our environment. Luckily, anyone who longs to green up their life now has many options. From skincare and makeup to clothes, there are plenty of healthier alternatives to choose from. If you’re eager to take action and start wearing eco-friendly clothing, it’s time to take a look at what kind of fabrics can benefit us the most.
Words: Sophia Smith
1. Organic Cotton
Regular cotton is one of the most resource-intensive plants to grow. It requires a lot of water to grow, and the industrial process of making it is laden with chemicals. You need huge quantities of pesticides to keep the plants safe, and people who work on it are exposed to a lot of toxins. It’s also bad for the soil and the water supply, and very often, formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, is used to keep it from wrinkling. However, cotton can be made more sustainable if grown without the use of chemicals and GMOs, but it’s very labor intensive and requires more time to harvest. To ensure cotton really remains organic, it’s best to look for garments that haven’t been dyed – the plant’s natural colors such as cream, light brown, and green are a much better option. You can also look for clothes that were dyed with vegetable-based dyes.
2. Industrial Hemp
Hemp is one of the most wonderfully sustainable plants around. It’s a high-yield crop that can be used in clothing, skincare, and food industry, and it’s very easy to grow and maintain without the use of pesticides or degradation of the soil. It also doesn’t require much water, and it doesn’t deplete the earth’s nutrients while it grows – on the contrary, it replenishes them. The fabric made from it is antibacterial, moisture-wicking, and completely breathable, and it’s actually really durable. A very good choice all around.
Another entirely wonderful plant that is very easy to grow without the use of pesticides. It doesn’t need much water, it yields a lot of crops, and it’s easily renewable so it won’t damage the soil as it keeps being grown on it. The fabrics made of bamboo can be silky soft and delicate, so it’s one of the best options if you’re looking to invest in good undergarments. It’s durable, breathable, has moisture-wicking properties, and it’s healthy against your skin. And the best part is? You can find pretty much anything – from simple everyday tunics to sexy underwear. You could find yourself a slinky little g-string that’s comfortable and light against your skin, and completely invisible underneath your clothes. Bamboo garments are a joy to wear because they can be so plush and breezy, so invest in some if you want high-quality matched with style.
Are you excited to find wool on this list? Yep, good old wool is pretty sustainable because it doesn’t need much chemical processing, and it also happens to be fire-resistant, renewable, and utterly wonderful. Anyone who’s ever gone through a very cold winter knows the joys of a simple woolen sweater. It’s a rich-looking fabric that anyone will enjoy, but there’s one problem to bear in mind when choosing your wool – the treatment of animals it came from. A lot of animals are treated with cruelty and subjected to toxic sheep dips (a process where a sheep is immersed in a liquid containing fungicides and insecticides), which is not only traumatic for the poor creature, but causes a build-up of chemicals that then end up on your skin. Inform yourself about where the clothing your purchase comes from, and only buy from reliable sources who engage in ethical business practices.
5. Recycled Fabrics
Recycled and upcycled fabrics minimise waste and are a great choice for anyone who’s looking to green up their wardrobe. By reusing fibers and fabrics you cut down the amount of raw materials needed to make something, but if you want to take this a step further, you can. Repurposing your own old clothing and sewing new garments from old ones is a great way to not only reduce the clutter in your house, but to make exactly the kind of pieces you want to wear. You’ll be giving old things a new purpose, and you won’t have to purchase anything to get a hot, trendy garment. Need inspiration? Here are a few tutorials you can check out.
It feels good to wear something that’s not only comfortable, but that was made through ethical production chains, by people who love their craft. Be a conscientious consumer and purchase the right fabrics!