In an era where terms like going green, eco-friendly and sustainability occur in every conversation, it is not surprising that these trends have entered into our lifestyle too. What’s more, they even define fashion trends now. For the environmentally aware shopper who buys less energy intensive appliances it has become routine to extend the same courtesy to the clothes he wears. And he does not stop at buying eco-friendly clothes he ensures that the upkeep of clothes is as environmentally safe by avoiding synthetic detergents and curbing the amount of washes, reusing clothes and the like. Eco-friendly clothing is definitely a trend that should adopt this season. Simply by purchasing sustainable clothes, you will not only lessen your own carbon footprint but also give a boost that this industry dearly requires. Conventional, non-sustainable clothing will be shed and the lessening of sales will send a clear message to those men in black suits that have forgotten nature.
Here are the top five clothing materials that you can add to your wardrobe to do your bit towards the environment:
This is one plant that is easily grown in several areas. It does not require pesticides for its growth which is an added advantage. A third advantage is that cloth made of bamboo is said to have anti-bacterial and anti-odour properties. Imagine a cloth that is not just eco-friendly but also protects your health. Of course there are chemical components to its processing which might offset the positives.
Although silk maybe the most luxurious and costly clothing product out there, it is also the most organic. Made from the cocoons of silk worms, this is a natural fibre. The cocoons are first treated with hot water and the tender fibres are harvested from it. This process does not require inorganic chemicals. Some people, especially vegans, do not prefer the conventional form of silk. For them a new variety has been launched- peace or vegan silk. They ensure that the cocoons used in the fibre-making process are not used at the cost of the caterpillars present inside them. This means that they make sure that full-grown moths have emerged from the cocoons before boiling them. This was not considered important before the environmentally aware generation came in and led to mass killings of mass still half formed in their cocoons.
Recently a lot of companies have been making polyester clothing from old bottles. But what was wrong in the original polyester? Polyester is basically plastic and plastic is a polymer. The production of polymers is what makes it bad for the environment. During the production of petroleum, some fraction of the oil is diverted to make a number of by-products through complicated and highly toxic chemical reactions. One of these by-products is polyester which is used in clothing, plastic bottles and so on. Using polyester made from this route would essentially increase the demand for it, and let the companies pollute more to meet that demand. What clothing companies are doing now is, they are collecting old plastic bottles that are discarded. They harvest the polyester portion and use it to spin cloth. By limiting the production of polyester and recycling waste, they are making an environmentally safe product.
- Soy Fabrics
Most oil processing units, like petroleum mentioned above, generate a lot of wastes that are deemed unusable and thrown away in dumps that pollute the environment. Another such waste that has been restructured to serve an eco-friendly cause is the waste from soy oil processing. The fibres that are left unused are processed into cloth. This cloth is surprisingly soft which makes them an excellent material for making inner wear. Be wary of companies that mix polyester or other alien products in your cloth. Always check for the tag on such clothing before purchasing it.
This is plant, like bamboo, that does not require fertilizers to grow. The fibres are long and strong which allows companies to make tough linens with them. There are not limited to this use. They can be treated to make soft material for regular wear. Such versatility makes hemp an ideal eco-friendly clothing material.
There are several other ways to ensure that your clothing is eco-friendly and it is not limited to the basic material that makes your cloth. You can check the tag or ask the company if natural or artificial dyes have been used in the cloth-making process. You can ensure that animals have not been slain for their production (like in the case of silk and especially fur). It is essential that you do your homework if you want to be active in sustainable clothing. Traditional clothing like cotton, or linen is make of crops that need a heavy dose of pesticides that pollute water bodies. They also require a big load of chemical for processing them into soft fibres. Being citizens of this age, we need to make a stand against such unsustainable practices by shopping right. Check the tags on the clothing that you purchase. Sometimes even they are incredulous. So, look online for reviews and studies about the company that you want to buy clothing for. There is unlimited and free data available on such matters on the internet. Be a responsible member of society with eco-friendly clothing!