Sustainable Materials: A Way to Preserve Our Environment

It is not a secret that the clothing industry represents one of the leading global pollutants. When you consider that the population is booming rapidly and that the cycle of supply and demand is rolling faster, it is only logical that the worldwide need for quality clothes will increase.
sustainable clothing
Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@chiro 
How do we render this civilizational aspect sustainable in a world that cares only about profits? We have to find a way to preserve our environment, and these are some of the solutions and outlooks.

Start with the fundamental constituents

To make a fundamental change in any industry, you have to begin with the cornerstone upon which it rests. In the majority of cases, this cornerstone is the leading material used to create a product. Now, it is true that the range of fabrics used in the clothing industry is fairly eclectic, so it is more a matter of how it is acquired then how it is used. The time has come to switch to green fabrics, and this switch entails the implementation of the recycling process.

The second fundamental cornerstone is the craft itself. Engineers around the world are working around the clock to devise energy-efficient machinery that saves electricity and produces the least possible waste, though countless brands rely on the ‘old-fashioned’ crafting methods in the meantime.

Many independent, modern brands are going out of their way to implement sustainable materials and craft into their assortment of products. In the transparent age of the internet, it is not particularly hard to validate a brand’s veracity.

Materials you should embrace

Apart from organic cotton, keep your eye out for clothes and sheets made from all of the recycled materials mentioned above. You will know they are properly used if they have the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) stamp, the Organic Exchange symbol or the Soil Association symbol.

Econyl is a particularly popular material these days because of the rising problem with ocean pollution. Econyl is made from nylon that is drawn from abandoned fishing nets (which have become the bane of marine life), as well as carpets and other rigid textiles.

If you are a fan of wool and similar materials, merino wool is one of the most natural fibers, renewable and biodegradable. Eco-friendly sportswear brands use it to produce quality merino wool socks. Keep in mind that you should avoid cashmere at all costs. Of course, the mainstay and the star of eco-friendly fabric are still linen - strong, durable, natural, comfy and biodegradable material that is derived from the flax plant.
Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@chiro

The complication is known as cotton

When discussing specific materials, cotton represents one of the more ambivalent elements. Of courts, it is a natural material, but when you consider the sheer size and the necessity of crops, as well as pesticides and fertilizers used throughout the process of growing cotton, it is a shockingly non-eco-friendly material. This is why the industry will have to rely on organic cotton and, of course, reusing the existing materials. Therefore, cotton is at the same time fabric to avoid and a green material - depending on the way the brand has acquired it.

Avoid these materials

Now, among the materials that you should avoid, you can count polyester and similar fabrics that are petroleum-based. Their very nature pretty much gives out why you should avoid them in the first place, and the unfortunate fact is that they make up circa 65% of our clothes and sheets. Why? Because they are cheap and efficiently produced.

Naturally, conventional leather and vegan leather - which is made of plastic (polyurethane), believe it or not - also fall under the category of no-go items in the eco-friendly 21st century.

Conclusion

As a consumer, there are several simple things you can do to ensure you are executing green purchases of your clothing items and accessories. As has been mentioned above, you simply have to take time and read labels. Understanding what materials are used to fashion your garments is half the battle.

Second, you have to familiarize yourself with reliable brands that invest in eco-friendly products and goals. Finally, if you want to discard an item, you have to make sure that it too becomes part of the green cycle - by disposing it mindfully and throwing it into a recycling process.

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