The use of harmful textiles in clothing lines is a major issue that needs to be addressed. Eco-friendly fabrics are not only better for the environment, but they also provide your brand with an opportunity to stand out from competitors.
In this article, you will learn about 8 eco-friendly alternatives to fabrics, such as polyester and nylon, which you can start using for your designs or as substitutes for other textile materials. If you are looking for ready-made wholesale eco-friendly clothes, check out this article.
Some of these eco-friendly fabrics include organic cotton, bamboo fabric, linen, wool and hemp. Let’s jump into the list!
1. Organic Cotton
The use of organic cotton requires less water than synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon because it has lower production costs and is made without any petrochemicals.
Growers also use fewer pesticides with organic cotton compared to the amount of pesticides needed to produce synthetic fibers, which helps reduce health risks for farmers and workers in industrial facilities that handle chemicals.
Organic cotton is also more durable than other textiles because it has less linting or pilling, reducing its environmental impact even further. Organic cotton can be used for clothing like t-shirts, denim jeans and underwear because it’s soft yet durable.
2. Bamboo Fabric
Bamboo fabric is made from the pulp of bamboo grass, which grows significantly faster than cotton and requires less water.
It is also more flexible, stronger and softer than traditional cotton materials, making it an ideal eco-friendly alternative to synthetic textiles like nylon that are typically used for activewear. Since being
Bamboo is an eco-friendly material that needs relatively little irrigation, fertilizer or pesticides. Bamboo fabric has antibacterial properties, is resistant to allergies and irritations, is highly breathable, and retains shape. Bamboo is also biodegradable and sustainable, which means it can easily be recycled.
3. Linen Fabric
Linen fabric has many environmental benefits because it does not need insecticides or other chemicals to grow. The soil used for growing flax does not have to be fertilized either because the crop grows well in poor soil while also being able to withstand cold climates.
However, the process of bleaching linen fabric can be harmful because it involves using chemicals that are harmful to workers and the environment. It is also worth mentioning that the production process for flax uses less water compared to processing cotton.
4. Wool Fabric
The production of wool fabrics does not release toxic materials into the environment while being bio-degradable and non-allergenic. Furthermore, the production of wool fabric does not need any pesticides or fertilizers to grow.
Organic wool is that which is obtained from sheep of which the flock of origin has never received any animal-derived drugs, treatments, or feed. Recycled wool is made by reprocessing wool scraps. New Zealand Wool comes from sheep in New Zealand, where they are raised more like pets than livestock. This type of wool is a good insulator for cold weather.
5. Recycled Plastic Bottle Fabric
Polyester made from recycled plastic bottles is a green alternative because those materials would otherwise end up in landfills. The process of recycling plastic requires less water than mining cotton while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25%.
Eco-friendly fabrics that are related to the recycling industry include rayon made from cellulose found in plants and Tencel which comes from wood pulp.
Polyester made from recycled plastic is also more durable than cotton, which means it can be reused for a longer period of time before being recycled again
The fibers can be spun into yarns, woven into fabric, or extruded into filament yarns
6. Hemp Fabric
Hemp is a durable natural fiber that has been used in clothing for thousands of years.
Hemp fabric is very similar to linen, but it is typically much stronger and more absorbent compared to linen. It can be made into both knitted and woven fabrics, which are perfect for shirts, blouses, dresses, or even pants.
A variety of hemp fabric blends are available, including linen, cotton, rayon, and silk. This fabric has a textured finish which will have an organic nature to it. Hemp is considered Eco-Friendly because the plant can be grown without fertilizers or pesticides
Modal is a type of rayon that comes from beech trees. Just like bamboo, modal fabric has antibacterial properties, which makes it great for athletic clothing because these fabrics can reduce body odor.
This form of rayon also produces less waste than other methods of creating textiles while using 40% less water. Modal is a soft, smooth, and lustrous type of rayon, making it a great substitute for other fabrics.
Tencel is made from wood pulp cellulose which makes it an Eco-Friendly fabric. Tencel is stronger and softer than both cotton and silk which makes it perfect for shirts, blouses, dresses, or pants.
It is a great substitute for silk and cotton. Eco-Friendly clothing designers should consider using Tencel to make Eco-friendly fabric items.