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Why Sustainable Fabrics Matter

Image: Courtesy of Shutterstock.

By Hoiisa’s editor

Not all fabrics are created equal. If you’re confused about how to gauge the sustainability of your wardrobe, you’re not alone. Fashion contributes to an estimated 10% of global greenhouse emissions, and the details behind fabrics, supply chains, and more are shrouded in mystery. When shopping for clothes, ask yourself this:

  • Is your garment made to last?
  • What is the amount of wasted fabric in production?
  • What is the environmental impact of fabric production?

Image: Courtesy of Shutterstock.

As the second most polluting industry globally, every buying decision you make impacts the fashion industry and the wellbeing of the planet. So here’s a look at three popular fabrics and their effect on the environment.

Cotton: Cotton requires 20,000 litres of fresh water to produce just a single kilogram. And while organic cotton is considered an improvement since its grown without pesticides, the best option to buy is recycled cotton.

Wool: Wool is often referred to as a “renewable” fabric, but it’s also considered one of the worst fabrics for the environment. In fact, its carbon footprint is greater than acrylic, polyester, spandex and rayon! If wool is what you want, look for upcycled or secondhand options to keep things green.

Tencel: Made from wood pulp, Tencel requires less water and energy to make and has antibacterial properties. Plus! Its production is the result of an award-winning, environmentally responsible closed-loop process.

Looking for more info behind your favourite fabrics? We recommend referring to the Higg Materials Sustainability Index when in doubt!

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