A Sustainable Step -Replacing conventional fabricsshayonti
A sustainable step towards changing our consumer behaviour when it comes to fashion would be to include alternative fabrics to our evening wear thus giving it the required importance and help consumers to learn how to convert their traditional concept of fashion fabrics.
While fast fashion focuses mainly on low costs and variety, the costs borne by the environment as a third-party are immense. From water pollution to the use of toxic chemicals which can prove to carcinogenic and the problem of disposal of textile waste, the industry has added to the woes of every environmental problem. However, with growing awareness about sustainability and availability of choices, it’s not too late to switch to better alternatives. While most people switch from conventional fabrics like wool and silk to vegan options primarily for reasons pertaining to animal cruelty, using synthetic, plastic ones can prove to be equally disastrous. These synthetic fabrics lead to disposal problems and are loaded with chemicals that could harm your skin. What mainly constitutes to a sustainable fabric is that it’s not toxic to the earth and isn’t a by-product of harming an animal. For us as social beings, all it takes is an understanding and identification of such fabrics through which we can reduce carbon imprint and contribute to the Earth in our own small but significant way. A few fabrics that score high on the eco-friendly parameter are:
This fabric is a no-brainer as it is grown devoid of any pesticides and amplifies all the good qualities of regular cotton. The difference between organic cotton and other cotton is that organic cotton is grown devoid of chemical herbicides, pesticides and any GMO. The organic cotton textiles are made from natural fibres and is biodegradable. As a natural fibre its benefits extend to being soft, wicking away sweat and allowing your skin to breathe through the fabric. Unlike animal fabrics, it is easy to wash and dries fast. Organic cotton is also known to improve the quality of soil and requires lesser water than wool and other fabrics. Pro-tip: Look out for the organic label on the tag and do not go for fabrics that are blends.Keep in mind organic cotton looks amazing evening as an evening wear.
Tencel is actually a brand name for a type of organic material called lyocell. Tencel is a cellulose fibre which is made by dissolving wood pulp and involves a process called spinning which is a special drying process. Tencel is the perfect material to create your daily wear and sports wear out of as its absorption capacity is 50% more than regular cotton and it doesn’t allow bacteria to thrive. It requires less water and energy as compared to most fabrics and is completely biodegradable.
Hemp fibre has existed for many years now and scores very high on being a brilliant sustainable alternative to synthetic fibre. The hemp textiles are made from the stalks of the cannabis sativa plant. The outer layer of the sativa plant is used for textile purposes and has rope-like bast fibres which can be used to make very strong stuff like fabrics, sailcloth, sacks, paper and ropes. Hemp has high absorbency and durability along with being known as a light fabric. Hemp also requires less water, no pesticides and no chemical processing.
Tip; Keep in mind Hemp too qualifies for an amazing evening wear, especially in summer.
Linen is a well-known natural fibre which has existed from the early Mediterranean civilization and was later adopted and popularised by Egyptians. It is made from the stalk of the flax plant and is touted to be one of the finest fabrics ever. Linen is a favoured choice for bedsheets, upholstery and bedsheets because softens with each wash and if taken care of properly, lasts for a very long time. The benefits of linen are that it is stronger (30%more than cotton), moisture absorbent, soft, breathable and completely eco-friendly as it requires very less water and no chemicals.
Bamboo can be used as an alternative to synthetic fibres as it has a wide range of applications in the textile field. Initially the use of bamboo fibres were restricted to making structural items but now bamboo fabric, a natural textile made out of the pulp of grass, is now a rage in the sustainable textile market as it requires no chemicals to thrive. Bamboo rayon is essentially made by dissolving bamboo pulp into cellulose and then spinning it into viscose threads. The bamboo fabric is chemical free, comes with a built-in temperature control, has soft texture, is hypoallergenic, UV resistant and has anti-bacterial properties.
A truly sustainable and brilliant innovation comes from an Australian company- Nanollose. It is a microbial cellulose fabric which is derived from coconut waste. It derives its name from a Latin term “nullus arbor” which means “no trees” and doesn’t harm or rely on the environment for its production. It is the world’s first tree free viscose rayon fibre and has successfully been spun into yarn and fabric as well using unique technology. At present, only Nanollose is working with this material but has successful produced sweaters and other garments using this revolutionary material.
Most silk in the world is mulberry (conventional) silk, however, due to growing awareness about animal cruelty, the conventional silk is replaced by organic silk. Organic silk unlike conventional silk is when the silkworms are fed only mulberry leaves and the production of which doesn’t require any pesticides or insecticides, thus, not creating as much ecological damage as conventional silk. Organic silk is more expensive however its benefits extend to being luxurious, breathable, hypoallergenic and for its wonderful draping qualities. It is eco-friendly. Thus, we see that today we are spoilt for choices even in the sphere of eco-friendly textiles. It’s very easy to switch over to sustainable textiles from animal or petroleum-based ones with brands choosing to become more focused on sustainability and zero-waste and constant material innovation.
Tip; Keep in mind Organic silk is no less than silk, and it is absolutely stunning when used in evening wear.