Why We Need Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Fabrics
by Martha's Furnishing Fabrics
12 April 2023
Why We Need Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Fabrics
At Martha’s we offer a large range of sustainable and natural fabrics from our Belgian linens to our New Zealand wools and buying deadstock where we can so that fabric doesn’t go to waste.
Fabric plays a huge part in fashion and with it being one of the most significant industries in the world, it has a massive impact on the environment. The production of clothing and textiles is one of the largest contributors to global pollution and waste, and it is a major contributor to climate change.
The fashion industry is responsible for a high production of clothing, which is made from unsustainable and non-environmentally friendly fabrics, such as polyester, nylon, and synthetic materials. These fabrics are harmful to the environment because they take a long time to decompose, and they release toxic chemicals into the air and water when they are manufactured.
To combat these issues, the use of sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics has become increasingly popular in recent years. These fabrics are made from natural and renewable sources and are biodegradable, making them environmentally friendly.
In this article, we will explore the importance of sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics and why they are essential for the future of the fashion industry.
Benefits of Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Fabrics
The benefits of sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics are numerous. First and foremost, they are better for the environment. They are made from natural and renewable sources, which means that they do not contribute to the depletion of non-renewable resources. Additionally, they are biodegradable, which means that they will not pollute the environment when they are discarded.
Sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics are often produced using less water and energy than non-environmentally friendly fabrics. This means that they have a smaller carbon footprint, which is important for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change.
Sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics are often more comfortable and breathable than synthetic fabrics. They are also often hypoallergenic, making them suitable for people with sensitive skin.
Sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics are often more durable than synthetic fabrics. They can withstand more wear and tear, meaning that they will last longer and require fewer replacements. This reduces waste and saves money in the long run.
Types of Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Fabrics
There are many different types of sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics available, each with its own unique set of characteristics and benefits. Here are a few examples:
Organic cotton: Organic cotton is grown without the use of harmful pesticides and chemicals. It is also often produced using less water and energy than conventional cotton.
Hemp: Hemp is a highly sustainable crop that requires very little water and can grow in a variety of soil types. It is also naturally pest-resistant, meaning that it does not require the use of harmful pesticides.
Linen: Linen is made from the flax plant, which is highly sustainable and requires very little water and pesticides to grow. Linen is also highly durable and breathable, making it ideal for clothing.
Bamboo: Bamboo is a highly renewable resource that grows quickly and requires very little water and pesticides. It is also naturally antibacterial, making it suitable for clothing.
Tencel: Tencel is made from sustainably harvested eucalyptus trees and is produced using a closed-loop process that recycles water and chemicals.
Challenges in Implementing Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Fabrics
While the benefits of sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics are clear, there are several challenges associated with implementing them in the fashion industry. One of the biggest challenges is the cost. Sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics often cost more to produce than non-environmentally friendly fabrics, which can make them less accessible to consumers.
Another challenge is the lack of infrastructure and knowledge around sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics. Many manufacturers and designers are not familiar with these fabrics and may not know how to incorporate them into their designs.
There is a lack of transparency in the supply chain for sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics. It can be challenging to trace the origins of these fabrics and ensure that they are produced ethically and sustainably.
However, despite these challenges, there are initiatives and organisations working to promote sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics and make them more accessible to the fashion industry. For example, the Better Cotton Initiative works with cotton farmers to promote sustainable and ethical cotton production. The Sustainable Apparel Coalition is a group of companies and organisations working to reduce the environmental and social impacts of the apparel and footwear industry.
How to Incorporate Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Fabrics into Your Wardrobe
If you are interested in incorporating sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics into your wardrobe, there are several steps you can take. Here are a few suggestions:
Look for clothing made from sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics. Many clothing brands now offer collections made from these materials.
Choose clothing made from natural fibres such as cotton, linen, and wool. These materials are biodegradable and renewable.
Invest in high-quality clothing made from sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics. These items may cost more upfront, but they will last longer and reduce waste in the long run.
Support brands that prioritise sustainability and environmental responsibility in their production processes. Research brands and their supply chains to ensure that they are producing clothing ethically and sustainably.
Consider second-hand clothing as an alternative to purchasing new items. Thrift stores and online marketplaces are great sources for finding sustainable and eco-friendly clothing.
The fashion industry has a significant impact on the environment, and the production of unsustainable and non-environmentally friendly fabrics contributes to this impact. The use of sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics is essential for reducing the environmental impact of the fashion industry.
There are numerous benefits to using these fabrics, including their biodegradability, durability, and comfort. However, there are also challenges associated with their implementation, such as cost and lack of infrastructure and transparency.
By incorporating sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics into our wardrobes, we can make a positive impact on the environment and promote sustainability in the fashion industry.