7 Eco-Friendly Fabrics That Are Gaining Popularity


Why Make With Eco-Friendly Fabrics? 

Eco-friendly fabrics are safe on the environment, recycled or biodegradable. Our world has already begun its descent into environmental turmoil on account of how carelessly we have consumed all it has to offer, and without second thought. If you’re an entrepreneur in retail, chances are that you’re working with fabric or dealing in it. Consider doing your part by actively seeking and learning about sustainable practices. There are many retailers who are working in the sphere of eco-fashion, but it is vital that eco-fashion becomes the norm. Here is a quick primer on all the eco-friendly fabrics and textiles that are being used in the market.  

Eco-Friendly Fabrics For Retailers and Fashion Houses

Hemp: a natural fibre, hemp is known to age well. It gets softer with every wear, but is a lot more resistant compared to cotton and is easy on our skin. There is no chemical involved in the production process and is grown naturally. Fun fact – growing hemp actually improves soil quality! It is a renewable material and can be used to make any kind of garment. The thickness and durability of hemp makes it the perfect fabric for accessories like handbags, especially totes. 

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Hemp. Photo Source

Lyocell: Lyocell is made with wood pulp from sustainable farms, it is completely natural and biodegradable. It is very absorbent, which means it can be dyed easily and aids the skin in breathing through the fabric. It is soft and a lot like rayon in terms of feel and lends itself very well to draping, so it can be used liberally in women’s clothing. It is best suited for dresses and skirts with flair and pleats. It works well with men’s dress shirts too. It can also be blended with other fibres, making it a very versatile fabric. Mass market retailer H&M has made clothing from Lyocell as part of their ‘Conscious Collection’.


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Lyocell Blend Dress by H&M. Photo Source

Soy Silk – this is made from soy protein fiber and is an eco-friendly, cruelty-free alternative for silk and cashmere. Soy Silk, also known as ‘vegan cashmere’ is machine washable and mostly wrinkle-proof! The fabric is soft and smooth, can be draped, is lustrous and has good potential for dyeing. Perhaps the best feature of soy silk is that it’s biodegradable. You can trust soysilk for baby clothing, and for your tops, skirts, dresses, and pallazzo pants.

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Soy Silk Fibre

Linen – derived from the flax plant, linen is a natural fiber that grows without the need for chemical pesticides. What we love most about this is how each part of the plant has a use, ensuring that there is nothing wasted in the process of manufacture. Linen is recyclable, renewable, and organic. It’s a versatile fabric and can be used to make pants, dresses, shirts, and skirts. Since it is so breathable, linen can also be used for upholstery and bedding. It doesn’t drape well and works best with simple and clean styling.

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Organic cotton – Organic Cotton is cotton that has been grown without the use of pesticides, GMOs and synthetic chemicals. In order for cotton to be certified organic, it must have been chemical free for at least 3 years. Since organic cotton is grown using methods that work in balance with nature (eg: crop rotation and using beneficial insects), organic cotton is biodegradable, renewable, AND sustainable! Cotton makes the base of a lot of our clothes, however the key here is to encourage the use of organic cotton, by choosing to produce with organic cotton and checking certification. 

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Organic Cotton Top by Prana


Wool – Wool is a renewable fabric that is sourced from sheep by shearing the fleece and processing it into yarn. Wool is eco-friendly as long as the animals are not harmed in any way during the process and is not processed with chemicals. It is sustainable and entirely natural, it is breathable material and absorbs moisture excellently. Suits, jackets, jumpers, sweaters, scarves, gloves, trousers, dresses, skirts – wool works wonderfully with every kind of garment.

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Wool Scarf

Recycled fabrics – this might sound untrue, but believe us when we say that you can make yarn out of recycled plastic bottles. Clipped cuttings of fabrics that are wasted in making other garments are recycled, spun into yarn, and used in making fabrics that can be knitted and woven into various kinds of clothing items. Even if you aren’t keen on making fabric from recycled plastic, do consider segregating the waste in your offices and factories – after all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!


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