The textile industry is one of the largest polluters across the globe. It ranks second as the biggest polluter and contributes 20% to water pollution from residues of dyeing and treating textiles. The production of new clothing accounts for a minimum of 10% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. On top of that most of the clothing produced goes to waste. At present, an average garment is used for 3 years before getting discarded. The changing fashion preferences have also led to the increase in clothing waste in the world. The manufacturing techniques have also made apparel less durable which means people need to buy new clothes more often. This has also increased the demand for sustainable fabrics as they are both durable and eco-friendly. There is a dearth of sustainable clothing brands across the world. The clothing waste produced every year can be reduced if we start choosing clothes considering the safety of our environment. Nowadays, it is all the more important to encourage the production of sustainable fabrics to boost the establishment of sustainable clothing brands throughout the world. No fabric is completely sustainable but some are quite eco-friendly than most.
Let us look at the most famous sustainable fabrics that you can choose from:
- Cotton- Cotton is regarded as one of the comfiest and breathable fabrics in the clothing industry. It is a lightweight fabric but has quite a heavy impact on the environment because of the huge amount of pesticides used in its production. But organic cotton is a more sustainable option. It has a lower yield and requires more resources and land for its production. It is also more difficult to grow without intervention.
- Silk- Silk is a hypoallergenic fabric that has a comparatively low impact on the ecosystem. The production of silk is a natural process that does not require any intervention such as the use of pesticides or herbicides. The manufacturing process is objectionable as the silkworms are domesticated and lost their ability to survive without people.
- Bamboo- Bamboo is called a fast-growing, well-suited, and pest-resistant fabric in the fabric industry. It also has an added advantage because its harvesting is not affected by clear-cutting. New shoots keep on growing from the same root. But it is difficult to determine its quality which is a big problem from the production perspective. It requires a lot of harsh chemicals to be converted into a soft fabric.
- Wool- Flocks of sheep are raised under uncomfortable conditions like space-constrained and poor ventilated sheds. This makes them susceptible to mites, fleas, and other diseases. Thus, pesticides are used on them to protect against the spread of these diseases. They sprayed pesticides run into the nearby water bodies hence affecting the aquatic life. Wool is further processed with chemical agents that are harsh on your skin. Therefore, to avoid these problems you must opt for organic and ethically sourced wool.