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What Is the Most Sustainable Type of Clothing?

Who says sustainable clothing can’t be fashionable? Just give your wardrobe a green makeover and watch your style bloom like a wildflower.

As fast fashion continues to mass produce so that it can catch up to trends and meet up demands, it also wastes a ton of textiles and pollutes the environment by using cheap materials and unethically sourced materials.

To counteract this, sustainable fashion was born. Sustainable or conscious fashion is a movement in the fashion industry with a low environmental impact and aims to produce clothes and accessories ethically.

The materials that are being used in sustainable fashion production are sourced ethically so it doesn’t create a disbalance in the ecosystem, and they also use recyclable materials, that way they are keeping pollution and textile waste to a minimum.

Sustainable fashion PRIORITIZES fair labor practices and better working conditions for the people involved in the production process. This includes non-discriminatory practices, a better working environment, and proper wages.

The Most Sustainable Type of Clothing is…

STRAIGHT ANSWER: We can’t really determine which type of sustainable clothing is the best, as it’s a subjective and complex issue because it all comes down to the individual’s preferences and needs. It’s not a one-size-fits-all question because every clothing type has its weaknesses and strengths.

The bottom line is the best sustainable clothing is the one that aligns with your values and meets your needs, while also reducing the environmental impact of the fashion industry.

What Is Sustainable Clothing?

Sustainable clothing is a term that refers to clothing that is made in a friendly and socially responsible manner. Every step made from the sourcing of the materials to the packaging of the final product aims to be as ethical as possible and to minimize environmental pollution.

What Makes A Clothing Sustainable?

The most sustainable type of clothing can depend on various factors, including the production process, materials used, and disposal method. The sustainability of clothing depends on the materials and fabrics used in the production process. We’re starting off with plant-based fabrics:

Plant-based Fabrics

There are multiple plant-based fabrics but we will mention a few of them.

Organic Cotton

Cotton is one of the most commonly used materials in the fashion industry. Organic cotton is grown without toxic pesticides and chemicals and synthetic fertilizers. This makes it a more sustainable option compared to conventional cotton.

Linen

Linen comes from the flax plant, which can be planted in areas that most plants don’t thrive in. It requires less water and pesticides to grow, compared to cotton. Linen is biodegradable, and the flax plant can be used entirely for seeds, oil, and crops, which means nothing will be wasted.

Hemp

Another great sustainable material on our list is hemp. It’s one of the most eco-friendly materials out there along with cotton and linen. It’s one of the most durable natural fabrics in the world. It’s derived from the same named plant.  It’s considered eco-friendly because the plant requires little water, and no pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. It’s biodegradable and one of the most amazing things about this plant is that it absorbs carbon dioxide or CO₂ from the atmosphere.

Tencel

Tencel is a semi-synthetic fabric that can be produced from the wood pulp of eucalyptus trees. It’s very light, breathable, absorbent, and soft which makes it perfect for people that have sensitive skin. Tencel fibers are collected my sustainably managed forests, so it doesn’t ruin the environment, and it requires a minimum level of water to grow.

Materials Of Animal Origin

In this subsection we will discuss about recycled wool and silk.

Recycled Wool

Wool is an animal-based material that has been used in the making of clothes for centuries. It’s known for its durability, warmth, and comfort. Most of the wool that ends up unused will be thrown out. So in order to stop that a lot of sustainable brands and high-end brands started to recycle the wool and reuse it for new clothing or accessories. This is a creative way to extend the life of existing materials and reduce waste.

Recycled Silk

Silk is one of the most used materials in the high fashion and the entire fashion industry. Recycled silk is in high demand as of recently as consumers look for sustainable alternatives. Some fashion brands are using discarded silk clothing to create new garments. This way the clothes have another chance at life, and it’s reducing textile waste.

Natural fibers

One of the most famous natural fiber materials is the bamboo.

Bamboo

Organic bamboo is also a popular material in sustainable fashion. Due to its lightness, softness, and antibacterial properties, it’s used in the manufacturing of clothes and lingerie. The plant grows quickly and it doesn’t require pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Some fashion brands even grow their own bamboo in eco-friendly conditions, such as the brand Boody, which uses rainwater to help grow their bamboo. The use of organic or recyclable bamboo in the fashion industry is a positive trend that helps to reduce waste and promote sustainability.

Recycled Materials

Most companies use recyclable materials such as recycled polyester.

Recycled Polyester

Recycled Polyester is a miles better option than virgin polyester. The good thing about this material is that it takes significantly less time to process it, than regular polyester. Lots of companies use it to make t-shirts, yoga mats, leggings and etc.

How Can You Tell Whether Sustainable Fabrics Are Actually Sustainable?

As we mentioned above and in previous articles, a lot of brands are jumping on the bandwagon of becoming sustainable. And some of them may be doing greenwashing to gain the sympathy of the customers and to keep making profits.

For example, if the label of the clothing item says it’s made out of organic cotton, it doesn’t mean that they haven’t secretly used toxic pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, or that they’re treating their workers fairly and have a better working environment.

It’s important to do research for yourself and to always check and double-check for certifications and if the company is being transparent.

Conclusion

In conclusion, we can’t really determine which type of sustainable clothing is the best, as it’s a subjective and complex issue because it all comes down to the individual’s preferences and needs. It’s not a one-size-fits-all question because every clothing type has its weaknesses and strengths.

Some people might focus on whether companies use natural and organic materials, and some might focus on whether companies practice an eco-friendly production process and fair labor treatment.

It’s important to take a look at the main factors that decide that, such as the ways how the materials are being obtained, the production process, the lifecycle of the material, whether companies practice fair labor treatment, and the certifications.

You should always do research and inform yourself well to see what brand aligns with your beliefs and suits you and your budget.

The bottom line is the best sustainable clothing is the one that aligns with your values and meets your needs, while also reducing the environmental impact of the fashion industry.


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