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10 Fiber Networks Behind Your Sustainable Clothing

Fiber Networks Behind Your Sustainable Clothing

Slow fashion – creating sustainable clothing that lasts, is the antidote to fast fashion and is currently taking the world by storm.

Fashion brands are making the conscious effort to switch sustainable fibers as well as implementing other responsible practices into their business.

Here are ten fiber networks working behind the scenes for your sustainable clothing that are approved by the certification bodies:

Plant-based Fibers – The Sustainable Apparel Option

1. Organic Cotton – A Solution to Synthetic Fibers

Organic cotton seeds are left untreated, whereas non-organic seeds are sprayed with insecticides and fungicides which are genetically modified. Then in the process of clothes manufacturing, non-organic cotton uses synthetic fibers.

No toxic chemicals are used to grow organic cotton, meaning that the soil, air and water are left uncontaminated. Therefore, organic cotton production produces around 46% less C02 emissions compared to normal cotton.

A few examples of innovative brands employing the use of organic cotton are People TreeSoluna Collective and Beaumont Organic with beautiful, eco-friendly garments.


2. Bamboo – Affordable and Sustainable

Bamboo, which is a type of grass, is an organic crop that requires no fertilizer as it regenerates from its own roots.

Not only is bamboo strong and durable, but it also biodegrades. It’s an effective and affordable strategy to combat single use-plastics.

Many fashion brands such as Asquith Ltd and People of Leisure are choosing to opt for bamboo for their sunglass cases, and is also used as a strong alternative to conventional cotton used in fabrics.


3. Hemp – An Answer to Energy Costs


Hemp is a weed so it grows with rainwater and no pesticides, making it environmentally sustainable. While trees take years to grow, hemp can be grown in a few months. Every part of the plant can be used, reducing the amount of waste from production.

Fibers are made from the stalk’s outer bast and used for textile manufacturing. The weaving process can be done organically through a mechanical process that requires no chemicals.

People of Leisure and Wama are harnessing the power of hemp to relieve some of the pressure of wasting the planet’s resources.


4.  Organic Linen – An Eco Friendly Fiber

Linen is an earth-friendly fabric because it’s made from flax, an eco-conscious crop. Flax crops only actually make up about 1% of the earth’s farmland, and so true organic linen is very rare.

The flax industry is small to begin with because it can only be planted on the same crop every seven years.

And so, by making the choice to buy organic linen products, you’re supporting the growth of the flax industry and the farmers who grow it. It may be a tad more expensive but it’s better for the soil and improves biodiversity.

Take Arielle for example, a fashion label that boasts simple, sexy and sustainable style. Based in New York, the brand is committed to using sustainable resourced materials including organic linen.


5. Piñatex – Saving Environmental Resources

Piñatex is a natural fiber made from the waste leaves of the pineapple plant. As the leaves would be otherwise discarded, it’s produced without any additional environmental resources.

Through a process called decortication, the long fibres of the leaves are extracted and then put through a machine. Then, the leaves are degummed and then turned into a non-woven mesh, which becomes the base of piñatex.These mesh rolls are transported to Spain for specialized finishing.

Piñatex has a leather-like finish which is soft, flexible and durable. Brands such as Momoc Shoes and Jarod-Pi are examples of fashion labels using this fiber.


Cellulose Fibers, the environmentally sustainable alternative

6. Lycocell – Versatile and Non-Toxic

Lyocell is an environmentally sustainable man-made fiber material, made from wood cellulose or pulp by a solvent spinning process. The solvent, amine oxide is non-toxic. It’s an especially versatile fabric used in bed linen, denim, shirts, trousers and towels.

Lyocell is environmentally friendly because it’s naturally biodegradable and the farming process doesn’t require irrigation or pesticides.

The sustainable properties of lyocell products have made it an extremely popular material in the fashion and textile industry and a strong contender of cotton. Kaftan is an example of an  eco-conscious fashion brand that uses lyocell for their flowy summer dresses.


7. Rayon – A Semi-Synthetic Fiber

Rayon is a versatile fiber made from natural sources of cellulose, such as wood and other agricultural resources. It’s considered to be semi-synthetic as it does require certain chemicals to be produced.

Rayon is often blended with other fibers such as cotton and polyester. Rayon isn’t as durable as other fabrics but it’s often a popular choice for airy summer wear.

For example. Zoha is an innovative brand with slow fashion and eco-friendly materials at the heart of its business. Zoha products range from bold colours to patchwork designs and floral accessories, which make great choices for a summer wardrobe.

Also, G By Gregory Joseph is an upscale fashion label that creates luxury pieces made with rayon.


8. Viscose – Sustainable and Luxurious

The most common type of rayon is viscose. It has a lot in common with cotton as it’s breathable and moisture-absorbent, making it a great choice for athletic wear. It’s relatively inexpensive compared to other fibers and it can give lower budget labels a luxury feel.

It also blends well with cotton, polyester and spandex. However like rayon, the production uses concentrations of chemicals such as sodium hydroxide and carbon disulfide.

Masai Clothing Company Aps is a Danish brand that produces scarfs and dresses that are light and airy from viscose.


Animal-Based Fibers that Add Quality

9. Cashmere wool – A Natural Fiber

Cashmere is the perfect way to add a luxurious feel to clothing. Cashmere is a natural fiber obtained from cashmere goats, and is finer and stronger than conventional wool. The goats hairs are woven into incredibly soft garments that are long-lasting.

The Cashmere goat breed is found between Mongolia, Southwest China, Iran, Tibet, Northern India and Afghanistan. These goats shed their coats naturally when the temperatures in these regions rise. Then it’s combed, sorted, cleaned and refined before being sold to companies.

La Sororité is a sustainable luxury brand that supports female workers in Nepal. The brand only uses cashmere for their sweatshirts as it’s ethical and gives that extravagant feel.


10. Silk – A Chinese Art

Silk fiber is made naturally by insects as a material for their nests and cocoons. These insects include beetles, honey bees, hornets and many more. Silk filament is extracted by brushing the cocoon.

The art of silk making began in China around 4,000 years ago, and then little by little Chinese immigrants brought this fine art to the Middle East, Europe and then eventually to the rest of the world.

The cocoons are sorted by their colour and texture, then they are unravelled and the fiber is wound, with up to six filaments to create a single thread. Silk has an incredibly soft texture and gives off a sheen, shiny look.

French brand Olistic The Label uses 100% organic silk and cotton certified by GOTS for their  jumpsuitsblousesdresses and trousers.

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