Sustainable is a term being used a lot in fashion at the moment, but, with specific regards to fabrics, what exactly are sustainable fabrics? And why are they sustainable?
As one of the eight WMC values, sustainability is defined on our site as products made with the environment in mind. This means that all of our sustainable brands must have at least 80% of their products made using sustainable materials (like organic cotton and closed loop viscose) and sustainable processes (like low impact dyeing and climate neutrality).
Let us explain further, with a round up of some of the most sustainable fabrics used in fashion, and what makes them sustainable. Onwards!
Hemp is much kinder to the Earth than conventionally grown cotton because it grows quickly, requires little water and no nasty pesticides. It is possible to produce more hemp fibre per acre than trees, cotton or flax (linen) and boasts deep roots that anchor and aerate the soil.
Tencel is made from eucalyptus trees, which don’t require pesticides or irrigation and also don’t demand such high-quality farmland as other fabrics like cotton. Produced by Austrian textile giant Lenzing, Tencel is also considered more environmentally-friendly because it’s produced in a closed loop system – in which 99% of the chemicals and solvents used in the process are recovered and recycled with minimal waste and low emissions.
3) Organic cotton
Conventional cotton is considered one of the dirtiest crops in the world, because it covers 2.4% of the world’s cultivated land but uses 6% of the world’s pesticides (and 16% of insecticides), whereas organic cotton is grown without these chemicals. Unlike its conventional counterpart, organic cotton farming creates a bio diverse crop, too, which helps with soil fertility.
Lenzing Modal is an incredibly soft fibre, derived from sustainably harvested Beechwood in a patented, closed loop production cycle. Unlike its non-sustainable counterparts, Modal breathes effortlessly — which helps you to battle unnecessary sweat stains, even in the height of summer.