Alternative Sustainable Fabrics
Posted on December 10 2019
More and more people are waking up to the fact that the production of the clothes that they love is damaging our environment. In order to protect the planet, the future of the clothing industry undoubtedly has to move into the hands of sustainable fabrics!
At PAMA London we are big fans of the incredible potential of bamboo for manufacturing fabrics, and this is evident from its use throughout our collections. Bamboo is an incredibly durable and easily renewable natural resource. Some of the main reasons that it is used for clothing production are that it is antibacterial and makes for a breathable fabric.
When considering how sustainable a fabric is, it is important to not only look at how it is grown and cultivated, but also how it is transported and processed. Every part of the journey contributes to how sustainable these fabrics actually are, and how much better for the environment they are when compared to conventional fabrics.
The Best Sustainable Fabrics
In addition to charcoal bamboo, there are some other fantastic resources that can be utilised to produce high quality sustainable clothing.
Lyocell, which is also commonly known as tencel, is a man-made fibre created from wood pulp. The technology used to manufacture lyocell is award-winning innovation, and is considered to be a serious achievement in the world of environmentally friendly textiles.
It is a completely non-toxic process and the eucalyptus trees used for production are always grown using sustainable farming practices. The fabric itself is super absorbent, meaning that if the use of dye is required then less is needed than with other more conventional fabrics.
Post-use, lyocell is biodegradable and therefore won’t leave a mark on the planet once you no longer have use for your garment.
Hemp fabric is made from a part of the cannabis sativa plant, which is a plant that is quick and easy to grow. The rapid growth time means that less water is required and also that the grower has to wait less time for the plant to reach maturity.
When hemp plants are growing, they will not require any additional irrigation than what nature already provides, and the entire process will usually be organic! Similarly to lyocell, hemp is entirely biodegradable.
Linen is a fabric that is made from naturally occurring fibres taken from the flax plant. Production of the flax plant is a fairly simple process and can be grown on land that currently has little agricultural value, such as land that has poor soil. In keeping with the other fabrics mentioned, linen is also biodegradable.
Farmers of organic cotton use crop rotation instead of chemicals to ensure that their plants reach their potential. The soil used to grow organic cotton cotton will be deliberately rich with compost in order to enhance growth.
With chemical-free crops, there is always the risk of attracting insects, which can of course be problematic. Organic cotton farmers usually utilise castor-oil traps that insects will stick to, and will also often use natural pesticides.
During the first growth cycle, cotton will require a large amount of water, with the production of 1kg of cotton needing approximately 20,000 litres of water. With organic cotton, the amount of water needed will decrease after the first few years, and the soil will retain many of the nutrients it receives. When we consider that 25% of pesticide use in the world is for conventional cotton production, we can see why its organic counterpart is the only way forward!
In addition to being biodegradable, making it safer for the planet, organic cotton production is (of course!) free from chemicals, meaning the farming environment is safer for workers too.
Avoiding the use of fabrics that are harmful to our planet is a step towards helping to protect it! Check out the range of clothes on offer from PAMA London to begin revolutionising your wardrobe!