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Sustainable Textiles for your Apparel Collection

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“You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequence of your choice.” Ziad K Abdelnour


First step to choosing your textile with care is knowing your options. In this blog, we’ll go through a few renowned ones that could set your sustainable textiles apparel game on point.


Sustainable Textile 1: Organic Cotton


We proceed with heavy emphasis on the organic part. It isn’t commonly known in but the textile conventional cotton is very harmful to the planet as a water intensive crop plant requiring multiple fertilisers and pesticides resulting in heavy degradation of the soil quality where it is grown, harming the environment and life quality of its farmers. These chemicals involved are classified as one of the most harmful ones by the Environmental Protection Agency. But we agree- the coziness and comfort of cotton apparel is undeniable and it’s the wardrobe staple of many. 

That’s where organic cotton textile comes in. Organic cotton is naturally cultivated without the aid of chemical fertilisers on soil or pesticides on the crops. The methods and materials involved in organic cotton textiles production have a low environmental impact making them sustainable textiles preferred in vegan clothing. In fact, the regulations around organic cotton production aim to replenish the soil fertility and maintain it. 


Sustainable Textile 2: Bast Fibres


Organic and biodegradable fibres in nature, Linen and Hemp textiles come from the bast family. They are an excellent alternative for comfortable sustainable apparel as they are not only widely grown but also do not require fertilisers, pesticides or any harmful chemicals to aid their growth. With the least impact on the environment amongst all natural textiles, Hemp is even grown by farmers to improve the quality of soil. Both linen and hemp are known to sprout easily with reduced water usage and high proficiency in speedy growth; and qualify as vegan clothing.


Sustainable Textile 3: Organic Wool


By nature, wool is renewable and biodegradable, automatically categorising it under sustainable textiles. But why we emphasise on organic wool is because there are more factors which influence its sustainability. They become certified sustainable textiles, ready to be used in apparel with respect to how the material is farmed. Organic sheep are reared with well-being and minimal animal stress in mind. They graze organic feed on organic soil and the farmers take preventive approach to diseases so avoiding antibiotics, wormers and pesticides. 


Sustainable Textile 4: Recycled Textiles


Recycled fabrics are one of the most sustainable fabrics to be produced, despite using up energy to convert old fabrics into new fibres-it’s still nowhere close to how much energy and resources are used in the making of virgin fabrics. The most common examples of textile revival are recycled cotton and recycled polyester. Recycled Cotton is made by recycling old cotton fabric into cotton fibre to be remade into vegan clothing. There are two main divisions of source: Pre-consumer waste and Post-consumer waste, both resulting in good as new textiles ready to be made into apparel. Recycled Polyester is the only man-made fabric to make it to this list because it contributes to around 10-12 PET bottles and 2,700 litres of water being saved in the making of just one tshirt. It's only drawback is that during consumer care and wash, the fabric will emit microfibres(tiny synthetic fibres) from the poly filaments which are harmful to the environment. One solution to that is to purchase collector balls for washing machines to mitigate the microfiber pollution from the process.


Sustainable Textile 5: Innovative Textiles


The previous four categories of textiles are a breakdown of what come to mind easily as “Sustainable Textiles” in the apparel industry. With more research, we found some excellent innovative, eco-friendly, ethical, animal-free options that add much needed flavour to saving the planet! There is Vegan Leather, the most popular one among vegan clothing, being made from pineapple skin. There is TENCEL which is a lyocell fabric made from cellulose fibre by dissolving tree pulp with dry jet-wet spinning. Bamboo fibre makes for an excellent vegan clothing alternative to cotton with almost the same hand-feel and properties except for the high water usage and lack of harmful chemicals. Banana fabric, made from the stalk of the banana plant which is usually discarded after the fruits have been cut off. Orange silk is made from orange skins that come from the juice industry waste. Lotus fabric is made from the fine fibres of the lotus stem. Milk fabric is made from discarded spoilt milk waste, does not qualify as vegan clothing however. Similarly, vegan clothing uses Corn silk, Soy fabric, Eucalyptus fabric to name a few. These textiles are usually more expensive as the production process to make them is more labour intensive. 


Head over to 2020 Collection to check out some of the mentioned sustainable textiles used in our latest collection.