Ecowiser

6 Eco-Friendly Fabrics That are Perfect for Spring and Summer

With spring around the corner, now is the time to update your wardrobe and purchase some of the hot new fashions for the season. With plenty of styles, colours and looks trending the good news is that there are bound to be options that work for you. But for many people, the idea of sustainable fashion is quickly becoming a huge factor in their purchasing decision. They want to know that their purchase is having the least amount of environmental impact possible.

Before you start flipping through fashion magazines and looking for ways to infuse high-end fashion into your wardrobe, we’ve got a look at six eco-friendly fabrics that are perfect for spring and summer.

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Linen

What’s better than a fabulous pair of linen pants, a lovely linen blazer or even a linen shirt dress on a hot spring or summer day? The even better part is that linen is known for being an eco-friendly fabric. The key is that it needs to be organic linen that comes from the flax plant. This plant is unique in that it doesn’t need much in terms of irrigation inputs, pesticides or fertilizer.

Because it can only be grown in specific environments, it tends to be pricey and reserved for luxury designer brands, but you know you’ll be getting the best of the best.

Bamboo Linen

If you want to take bamboo up a notch in terms of eco-friendliness and luxury, then be sure to look for bamboo linen. Bamboo doesn’t need to be killed to be harvested and because it renews so quickly, it makes for an excellent option. And as for the finished fabric, expect clothing that is ultra-lightweight, hangs beautifully and is soft to the touch. This is why it’s also commonly used for sheets.

Organic or Recycled Cotton

For clothing to be comfortable in the warm months of spring and summer it needs to be lightweight and breathable, and cotton is something that ticks off both those boxes. But if you want your cotton to be an eco-friendly choice, it needs to be organic or recycled.

Organic cotton means there have been no chemicals, fertilizers or pesticides used in the growing process. The same can’t be said for all cotton, so you need to be careful and research the brand and/or designer. Organic cotton also doesn’t involve machine harvesting or chemicals used in the processing.

As you may have guessed from its name, recycled cotton refers to items that have been previously used and loved and are not getting a second life. This is a zero-waste option that is incredibly popular right now, as the material can be organic cotton and sustainable and the consumer has done their part by saving an item from landfill.

Hemp

Here’s a fabric that has gained popularity over the years as its benefits become more well-known and mainstream. Hemp is often classified as one of the most eco-friendly fabrics you can get. It is a carbon-negative raw material since it absorbs a lion’s share of CO2. It absorbs much more CO2 than a typical plant would. Did you know that hemp is also naturally antimicrobial and sun protective? The list of benefits is vast.

As more has been learned about hemp, luxury designers have embraced it fully and it is quickly becoming their top choice in terms of eco-friendly fabrics. Check out these hemp trousers from Issey Miyake who is known for his innovative designs. They offer style, high fashion, comfort and warmth – making them a perfect transition piece in your wardrobe.

Cork

Cork is harvested from a tree, the cork oak, making it sustainable. The process involves shaving the bark, so there is no need to cut down the tree. Also, shaving the bark helps the tree to be healthier and even extends its lifespan. The bark grows back over time, allowing it to be harvested once again.

But for all the talk of clothing, let’s not forget those accessories also play a pivotal role in a person’s wardrobe. You can look stylish and feel good about your fabric choice by looking for shoes and handbags made of cork. Cork is often seen as a vegan alternative to leather, performing in much of the same ways.

What About Natural Animal Fabrics?

There are other fabrics you can add to the list and if you’re curious about non-vegan natural animal fabrics, there are many. Check out popular fabrics such as silk, sheep wool, alpaca wool, Merino wool, yak wool, down, camel and cashmere. These won’t be for everyone, but those who like a sustainable option and who aren’t following a vegan lifestyle will appreciate the options.

Just because you want to update your spring and summer wardrobe while staying true to your eco-friendly lifestyle, it shouldn’t mean your options are limited. Thanks to this list of luxurious fabrics, you’ve got lots of choices before you.

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Dr. Divya Goil

Dr. Divya Goil is a Sustainability Researcher at Ecowiser. We empower individuals to make sustainable choices. I am a medical doctor with a passion for environmental conservation and have dedicated my career to finding solutions for a more sustainable future.

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