When buying new clothes, your first thought probably isn’t about questioning what materials your new threads are made of.
But in this blog, our environmentally conscious friends, we’ll be explaining why it probably should be!
These days, it’s easy to have a quick surf online, freshen up your wardrobe with the basics or search for the latest fashion trends without questioning much at all. Generally, if it looks good and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, then it’s normally in our basket without a second thought.
Usually, any conversation about what fabric our clothes made from goes as far as asking whether it’s made from either cotton, silk or polyester.
There are actually a wealth of textiles and fabrics available, and each has their own characteristics, but have you honestly ever stopped to ask if the material you’re buying is bad for the planet?
What’s Wrong with Synthetic Fibres?
As well as looking fantastic, natural fabrics are environmentally friendly, sustainable and renewable. They originate from trees and plants, all of which can continue to be replaced or regrown.
On the other hand, synthetic materials, aren’t biodegradable or compostable, whereas natural fibres can be recycled and reused without adversely impacting the environment.
What Kind of Natural Fabrics Are There?
Textiles derived from natural fibres are known as natural fabrics. Some of which have been used for hundreds of years, and include:
- Linen – is the oldest known fabric in the world. Linen is produced using the flax plant, and is capable of resisting sunlight, is known to wash well and is non-allergenic.
- Cotton – is an incredibly versatile fabric derived from the cotton plant. Cotton clothing is known to be breathable, durable and easy to clean.
- Hemp – is derived from the cannabis plant. It’s incredibly strong and robust, will hold shape well and is naturally mould resistant.
- Jute – is a bast fibre, which is naturally long and shiny and is spun to make coarse, strong threads.
- Bamboo – a favourite of ours here at Strive. Bamboo clothing is soft, breathable, robust and easy to take care of.
Once these plants are harvested, the fibres are spun to create yarn, which is then used to develop various fabrics. These aren’t just to make clothing; they can also be used to make upholstery, furnishings, home accessories and much, much more.
In fact, they can even be utilised in the industrial and medical fields too.
Why Select Natural Fabrics?
Natural fabrics are great for both you and the environment.
In addition to being sustainable, the vast majority of natural fabric is biodegradable, moisture-wicking, heat-responsive, durable and natural repellent to dust, mould and dirt.
The high moisture absorption in natural fabrics is ideal if you are prone to feeling warm, as it pulls the moisture away from your skin, which leaves you feeling dry and comfortable.
In addition to this, if you suffer from allergies, most natural fibres are non-allergenic and hypoallergenic, which is ideal if you’re susceptible to rashes, eczema or any other chronic skin conditions.
There is and always will be massive demand for manmade, synthetic fabric. This is because it is cheap, easy to manufacture and enjoys mass appeal with consumers.
If you decide that you’d like to purchase more natural clothing, it really is worth sitting down and doing a little research. The textile industry continues to produce more synthetic fibres, which give the appearance of natural fabrics, so by researching your brands, you can buy safe in the knowledge that you’re doing your bit for the planet.
Can you think of any more natural fibres that you’d like to share with the Strive community on Facebook?