Emissions generated by the fashion industry have not shown a significant decrease. Therefore, let’s be smart shoppers smarter when buying clothes.

There are many ways to become a smart shopper in the fashion world. For example, buying clothes at a, not buying from fast fashion brands, and buying more from local brands.

In addition to this method, you can also be more careful when choosing the type of fabric from the clothes to be purchased. What types of fabrics are considered environmentally friendly? Check below.

Eco-Friendly Fabric Type

Eco-friendly fabrics are part of sustainable fashion. Sustainable fashion itself means that the entire production process for a fashion item does not damage the environment. In addition, it does not harm or exploit animals and does not violate workers’ rights.

Each item produced also requires low water and energy. It can come from recycled trash or environmentally friendly fabrics as well. A type of fabric is said to be eco-friendly or sustainable in general if it is made of:

  • Recycled fiber
  • Vegetable fiber
  • Animal fiber
  • Semi-synthetic fiber

The following are types of fabrics that are classified as environmentally friendly and sustainable:

1. Linen

Linen is a natural fiber made from the flax plant. The resources used to produce this fabric are also quite low. In addition, the hemp plant itself does not use as many pesticides, insecticides, and chemical fertilizers as cotton or polyester.

The hemp plant itself can grow even in poor soil, as it is not used for food production. Sometimes this plant can rehabilitate polluted soil. Hemp also absorbs high levels of carbon, so it plays a role in cleaning the air instead of polluting it.

2. Organic Cotton

Traditional cotton requires very high amounts of water and chemicals to produce. A better alternative to traditional cotton is organic cotton.

Organic cotton is harvested without toxic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or genetically modified seeds. Sustainable fashion brands will usually use cotton fabrics made from GOTS certified organic cotton or the Global Organic Textile Standard.

3. Alpaca Feather Fiber

Alpaca fiber is produced from the fur of the alpaca bred in the Peruvian Andes. Alpacas are considered more environmentally friendly thanks to the way they eat grass. They eat by mowing the grass instead of pulling it. This allows the grass to continue to grow.

Alpacas also need very little water and food to survive and produce enough fur for 4 or 5 sweaters per year. In comparison, it takes a sheep 4 years to produce just one cashmere sweater.

4. Silk Fiber

Silk is a renewable protein fiber produced by silkworms. It is also a renewable and biodegradable resource. Although classified as environmentally friendly fabrics, there are also silk fabrics that are produced with chemicals. This of course will kill a lot of silkworms.

Therefore, double-check carefully when choosing clothes with this fabric. You can choose organic silk, such as “Peace Silk”, Tussah, and Ahimsa silk.

5. Sustainable Leather

Leather fabric is usually made from dead animals. Although it is a by-product of animals being raised for meat, this type of fabric has a negative environmental impact during the tanning process.

To overcome this, there is sustainable leather that is more environmentally friendly. The fabric is chrome-free and made with tanneries that recycle and purify wastewater.

In addition to the types of fabrics above, recycled fabrics are also environmentally friendly, such as:

  • Piñatex
  • Econyl
  • Qmonos
  • Refibra™
  • Orange Fiber

Meanwhile, the types of fabrics that should be avoided are:

  • Traditional cotton
  • Wool
  • polyester
  • Rayon
  • Viscose
  • Cashmere
  • Synthetic fibers, such as acrylic, polyamide, nylon, polypropylene, PVC, spandex, and aramid.