Sustainable Clothes: How I Compare Different Fabrics In 2021
The word “sustainable” is getting thrown around a lot in the marketing world.
- able to be maintained at a certain rate or level.
"sustainable economic growth"
- able to be upheld or defended.
"sustainable definitions of good educational practice"
Here is a quick guide to fabrics I prefer for my clothes:
- Grown without harmful chemicals, that damage the people growing it, wearing it and the land
- Uses far less water and energy than regular cotton
- More durable
- Try + ask to buy Global Organic Standard Textile Standard (GOTS) certified products. Means that the organic content is traced and ensures it is processed socially and sustainably too
- Alternate standard is Organic Content Standard (OCS), this ONLY traces the organic content
- Items I own: Tees, Shirts, Jeans, Trousers, Socks, Shoes
- Reduces the amount of plastic that ends up in landfill, waterways + ocean
- Significantly less water, carbon footprint, + energy is used in making recycled polyester versus new fibres
- Can use sublimation printing process, which offers quality, vibrant finish without nasty dyes
- Look for the Global Recycled Standard (GRS). It applies to tracing the full supply chain and addresses traceability, environmental principles, social requirements, chemical content and labeling.
- Fast growing plant
- Low usage of water compared to cotton
- No chemical pesticides or fertilizers
- High yield + soil health
- Zero waste
- Usually blended with cotton
- Most of the world’s industrial hemp is currently grown in China therefore certification is still a bit of a challenge. Often is blended with organic cotton so can look for standards referred to in the above section or search through the individual companies sustainability/transparency policy
- Potential to be one of the world's most sustainable resource
- Currently the process to turn it into fabric uses strong chemical solvents that are potentially harmful to workers, consumers, and the environment
- Therefore have stayed away from Rayon + Viscose
- One good process I am hearing about is Lyocell operating under the brand name "Tencel". I bought some underwear a couple of years ago made from this fabric and they are best I have ever owned
- Environmental impact
- Social impact
Garth is the founder of LUCKE, an apparel company that is holistically innovating to be low impact on our environment, high-quality, and fully customizable.
He loves being on the water and is sick of seeing it trashed.
His mission is to prove that you can do business better by valuing empathy for our environment + community, whilst achieving economic sustainability.