Sustainable Clothing is the evolutionary shift in the world of fashion technology towards a more accommodating approach for environmental and socio economic aspects. Flourished in recent years, Sustainable or Eco Fashion is not only concerned with eco-friendly manufacturing of clothes but also in overall modification of the whole manufacturer-consumer experience. Easily put, sustainable clothing is a way devised by the fashion industry to serve the environment and to requite the society thus establishing a precedent for others to follow. Many global brands have joined hands in this pursuit by initiating a series of changes in manufacturing, designing, as well as promotion and distribution of clothes. One of the most efficient and popular practices in this regard is the use of ‘Eco-friendly Fabrics’.
Eco-friendly Fabrics – The Hem of Sustainable Clothing
Eco-friendly Fabrics as the name suggests are the least harmful for the environment. The textile extracted by minimising the use of chemicals and maximizing the sustainable practices are termed as eco friendly. Broadly considered eco-friendly fabric is an umbrella term for a wide variety and range of fibre made available without much tarnishing the nature. Most of these textiles are extracted from unconventional natural products whereas some are recycled and reused. What are these materials you ask? Well let’s read on and find out.
8 Eco-friendly Fabrics
Picture: Bamboo Fiber via Indiamart
The first one to make our list is bamboo. Bamboo has been a part of our lives since long. Traditionally used in construction and manufacturing paper, it has proved its worth many a times. But thanks to the modern technologies, the usage of bamboo has now been expanded to the textile industries. Yes! you read it right, bamboo is now used to make fibre which is extracted from its pulp and is not only healthy for the environment but also is a wise choice for us as it is:
- Highly sweat absorbant
- Feels soft and comfortable
- Organic Cotton
Picture: Organic Cotton
Now you will think that cotton is already the most widely used fabric; there is nothing new about it! But there is. Cotton being the prominent fabric is cultivated with a use of 25% of world’s total amount of pesticides. Organic cotton on the other hand is a variant which is grown without the use of any toxic chemical, thus making it the new favourite of brands following the green initiative all over.
- Industrial Hemp
Picture: Hemp Fiber
Another sustainable option of fabrics is industrial hemp. It is a low maintenance fibre which uses minimum water and fertilizers.
- Soy Cashmere/Silk
Picture: Soy Cashmere Fiber
Soy being a major source of protein has been an indispensable part of our plates. But now its use has been widened. The fabric is made of the leftovers after processing the soybeans into food.
Wool has been a renewable source of clothing since time immemorial but there has been apprehensions regarding animal abuse attached to it. However, recently with the increased trend of sustainable practices there has been a boom in demand of organic wool which ultimately leads to a humane treatment of animals without any toxicity.
Picture: Tencel Fiber
Made of wood pulp, tencel is a biodegradable and nature favouring option for eco-friendly fashion.
- Recycled Polyester
Picture: Recycled Polyester Fiber
This is made from the cast off polyester and soda bottles. It reduces the carbon footprint by 75% than virgin polyester.
Picture: Banana Fiber
Yes, you read it correctly. Banana is no more just a yummy breakfast treat but also an insightful alternative for ‘going green’ in terms of fashion. Also known as ‘Musa Fibre’, it is the next big thing in the global fashion industry. Banana Fabric is extracted from the inner and outer linings of banana peels. It is used in a plethora of items ranging from scarves to home decor accessories.
Indian Brands promoting Sustainable Clothing
The noble movement of sustainable clothing and ethical fashion has made its way to the Indian markets as well. Several fashion houses are opting for sustainable practices by embracing the changes. Sustainability however, is not new for us. India – the land of Mahatma Gandhi has always been an advocate of swadeshi organic fibres. With the advent of this renewed wave of ecologically cordial fashion, the contemporary designers are working wonders.
6 Indian Brands to Check out for a Greener Wardrobe
Some of the commendable indeginous brands to check out are mentioned below:
Picture: All Patch Jacket by Doodlage
Launched by Kriti Tula in 2012, the label boasts exquisite shrugs, jackets and skirts. The brand has its aim fixed at achieving sustainability without compromising with variety, quality and design.
The ambitious and innovative project of Shani Himanshu and Mia Morikawa, the brand deals mainly in silk and khadi products. One of the most popular ideas of the brand was the creation of ‘Khadi Denim‘. Eleven Eleven also promotes organic dyes and printing.
Picture: Bhu:Sattva Eco-friendly Fashion
The brand owned by Jainam Kumarpal is based on 100% organic cotton. It’s research wing is also working towards blending several eco friendly fibres in order to revolutionize the sustainable fashion industry.
Picture: Upasana Organic Clothing
This is a fashion brand with a potential to bring change. Upasana is not only pro in using sustainable practices but is also working for the promotion of local crafts of India. Various programmes launched by Upasana are aimed towards helping underprivileged craftsmen of India.
Picture: No Nasties Organic Clothing
No Nasties is a label dealing in 100% organic clothing. It also follows a policy for zero use of pesticides and a fair working condition for labourers.
Picture: Ka-Sha Organic Clothes
Owned by the Pune based, London College of Fashion graduate Karishma Shahani – Khan, the brand focuses on the ‘best out of waste’ – motto. From combining onion sacks with wool and ribbons to creating jackets out of plastic bags, the brand is all set to up the game of sustainable fashion.
Environment cordiality is comparatively a new trend for Indian consumers, but it’s already in vogue. People are coming forward to support the initiative and be a proud part of it. The amalgamation of traditional and innovative; the future and the past; the modern and the ancient is quite appealing to the new age customer. Thus it is safe to say that the future of sustainable fashion and eco friendly fabrics is bright and quite promising.