The conservation conversation seems to be particularly noisy right now. No longer can we turn the volume down on what’s happening around us; the world is getting hotter, natural disasters more prevalent and the likelihood of doom and gloom is foreboding. Fortunately, this narrative has now been adopted by the mainstream and fashion isn’t exempt from this. Sustainability is creeping its way up on the agendas of garment technologists across the world, but which materials have taken the most inspiration from nature? With some guidance from CT Shirts, suppliers of high-quality knitwear, here are 4 IDEAL materials for your eco-conscious wardrobe.
Hemp is one of the oldest fabrics known to man and it’s widely used to make garments, cloth and clothes. It’s derived from the stem of the hemp plant, and the resultant product shares a lot of similarities with linen. The unique, inherent qualities of hemp help to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer months, making it an extremely versatile choice to incorporate into items for every season. It is also extremely UV resistant, making it great for swimwear.
The hemp plant itself is also pest resistant, meaning that it doesn’t require any harmful herbicides, fungicides or pesticides to yield. An added bonus is that it doesn’t need much water either, and only a small amount of surface area to grow successfully. Plus, as it grows, it returns much of its nutrients it uses to the soil, making it good for the surrounding ecosystem. This product can be turned into fabrics through an entirely organic process as well. There really is no reason not to be wearing it more often.
Linen is a common material for a whole host of clothes suited best to warmer climes, renowned for its breathability and comfort – plus, it’s also used in other household items such as bedsheets and towels. However, not many people know that linen is a plant derivative; made from the stem of the flax plant. Growing linen is not an excessive time nor water consuming process and it rivals cotton in its durability. In fact, it gets stronger with each and every wash.
As an organic fabric, when untreated it is biodegradable, making it a brilliant choice for the environmentally conscious among us. Linen products are timeless wardrobe staples, and they look brilliant in white or alternatively muted tones like ecru, ivory, tan and grey.
While conventional cotton is notorious for its chemical reliance and dependence on huge amounts of water flourish, the fashion industry has found an alternative, natural product. GOTS cotton has been manufactured to rival traditional cotton, with its production process not requiring any harmful pesticides which have been linked to causing cancer in the past. This material takes a holistic revision of the classic production methods of cotton, while maintaining all the benefits of being a natural fibre. It is a breathable, sustainable alternative which can be incorporated into various items of clothing.
An Australian firm have pioneered the production of TENCEL™, combining and then dissolving cotton scraps and wood pulp, sourced from certified sustainable forests. The material is essentially cellulose fibres and it produces a light and multi-purpose fabric, which has soared in availability in recent years. It is 50% more absorbent than cotton, unshaken by moisture, and with an impressive anti-bacterial quality, it is the ideal choice for activewear garments. In terms of efficiency, it is far cheaper and less resource consuming than producing conventional cotton. As well as this, it is biodegradable which is a sought-after quality in a society which is looking more and more towards finding new ways to limit our input onto landfill sites.