Sustainable Clothing Solutions
More Sustainable Fabrics
- Organic Bamboo Fiber: a very soft, 100% biodegrable fiber that grows naturally without the need for pesticides or fertilizers. Counterpoint: manufacturing processes vary and often use toxic chemicals (additional information) and a look at the manufacturing process for regenerated cellulose fabrics.
- EcoSpun: recycled polyester fiber from recycled plastic pop bottles (additional information). Counterpoint: There are concerns that exposing skin to plastic is unsafe.
- Lyocell Fiber: also called Tencel, this 100% biodegradable fiber is produced in an environmentally-friendly manner from cellulose - the main material in plant cells. Counterpoint: potential health issues.
- Organic Cotton Fiber: cotton grown without the use of artificial chemicals such as herbicides or pesticides (additional information).
- Organic Hemp Fiber: a durable natural fibers that can be grown without pesticides and with minimal water use. The hemp plant has long roots which help to prevent erosion and retain topsoil (additional information).
- Organic Linen Fiber: made from the organically-grown flax plant. The fiber is absorbant and cool to wear in varioius climates.
- Sasawashi: a very durable Japanese fabric made from paper and the plant Kumazasa, which has natural antibacterial and deodorant effects.
- Organic Soy Fiber: a very soft and durable fiber.
- Wild Silks: produced by undomesticated silkworms in the wild. The silkworms are not killed during the collection process. Also see: ahisma or peace silk. Counterpoint: Interesting article questioning how nonviolent peace silk really is: Why I Don't Think it Adds Up.
Reusing and Upcycling Fabric
- Passing it On: there are numerous ways to resell or give-away clothes: from craigslist or thrift stores to ebay and consignment stores. Different types of give-away or swap shops or online freecycle sites are also growing in number.
- Upcycling Excess Textiles: creating clothing from textile waste at LOOPTOWORKS.
- Common Threads Partnership: Patagonia clothing company now recycles used Patagonia products into new garments using a fiber-to-fiber recycling system. This creates a more sustainable cradle to cradle process for cloth.
- Recycled Fabric: reclaiming used fibers to make new garments and accessories (check out RepairTheWorld).
Certifications and Universal Index
- Fair Trade Clothing: clothing made by businesses that have a commitment to social justice in which employees and farmers are treated and paid fairly, sustainable environmental practices are followed, and long-term trade relationships are fostered (additional information).
- EU Ecolabel: an ecolabel given to textiles that minimize the use of harmful substances and reduce air and water pollution.
- Öeko-tex (or Oekotex or Oko-tex) Standard 100: certification process that evaluates and screens for any harmful substances present within processed textiles intended to come into contact with consumers.
- Sustainable Apparel Coalition: sustainability leaders in the apparel and footwear industry working to create a universal index to measure and benchmark sustainable practices and products for use by all apparel and footwear companies.
- Wet Cleaning, CO2 Cleaning and GreenEarth Cleaning: environmentally-friendly alternative to dry cleaning (additional information).