You’re adopting a green lifestyle and want to reduce your carbon impact on the environment.
You can choose from the many alternative fabrics which are not chemically synthesized. Conventionally produced fabrics do great harm to the environment and the people working in those factories.
You may think that all fabric marked as vegan is harmless, but it’s a little bit ambiguous because fabrics like bamboo are synthesized in a manner that pollutes the ecosystem, harms wildlife and pollutes waterways. Here are some vegan fabrics which cause the least harm to the environment:
If you like cotton, go for the organic variety. Conventionally produced cotton is the world’s most harmful crop, during production harming the farmers and the environment with the chemicals used. Aldicarb, a common pesticide used in cotton farming, can poison a human being with a single drop absorbed by the skin.
Conventional cotton also uses a huge number of forced child labor, in the entire conventional cotton production chain. GM cotton has a high cost and patented seeds have to be bought every year, which has been a cause of high farmer suicides, due to the debts they incur. To avoid all this, and to encourage organic farming of cotton, choose organic cotton over conventional cotton.
Alpaca wool is derived from Alpaca sheep and they do not require antibiotics or insecticides to be injected, and are quite self-sufficient, as they don’t eat much. They seem to be inherently eco-friendly animals! Alpaca wool lasts long and is always a good buy.
Modal and Lyocell
Modal and lyocell are fabrics which are manufactured from the pulp of wood. Chemicals are used in the production, but the procedures are closed loop, i.e. the same chemicals are reused time and time again, therefore incapable of harming the environment. But you have to be sure that the modal and lyocell is produced sustainably, such as those produced in Europe and North America.
Indonesian and Chinese modal are destroying rainforests. Tencel is a lyocell that is sure to be produced sustainably. Bamboo lyocell is also sustainable but bamboo viscose is harmful as the process of production uses a lot of harmful chemicals and solvents.
Linen from flax
Flaxseeds are a favorite of vegans and linen, which is produced from flaxseeds is a vegan fabric. Linen produced in Japan and Europe is a sustainable fabric and is of a better quality, but Chinese linen is manufactured using fertilizers and has a carbon impact. Linen from Europe and Japan is a little expensive but it’s a small price to pay to create a sustainable wardrobe. Linen is lint free and has a long lifespan thus making it a good investment.
Cashmere is a luxurious fabric, which comes from the process of combing the under-hairs of Kashmir goats. These goats are native to the Himalayas but are raised worldwide. It’s one of the best eco-friendly fabrics and quite durable. But cheap cashmere is treated with chemicals and colored with carcinogenic dyes. So best to avoid cheap cashmere and buy the more expensive variety which has the least carbon footprint.
Hemp is a plant based fiber which is a vegan material which you should definitely consider. The best thing about hemp is that it grows on marginal land thus saving the productive land for food crops. Hemp is slowly gaining popularity and rightly so.
Peace silk is manufactured from silk worms but in a way which does not kill or harm the worms. The silk is derived from the cocoons after the moth leaves the cocoon, unlike the traditional way in which the silkworms too are thrown into the vat of boiling water, and then the silk is extracted. Peace silk, on the other hand is cruelty free and is usually wild harvested.
Jute is a versatile fabric which mimics silk, cotton and wool. It is farmed without pesticides and on marginal land, which makes it suitable for your vegan wardrobe.
Pineapple, cork, kombucha leathers are vegan leather options. With this wide array of vegan fabrics, you can find a way to fill your wardrobe with eco-friendly clothes.