Fabrics were once made from natural fibers such as cotton, linen, silk, wool, cashmere, and hemp. However, a massive rise in demand led to rapid production and innovations in the making of fabrics. These days, most of the fabrics are either pure or blended with synthetic materials like rayon, polyester, acrylic, acetate, and nylon in modern clothing stores.
If you’re someone who is concerned about the environment, ethical practices, or personal comfort, there are certain fabrics you should avoid at all costs! Some of these fabrics include:
1. Conventional (non-organic) cotton
Producing traditional cotton involves a significant amount of pesticides and water, making it environmentally unfriendly. Instead, opt for organic cotton, which uses fewer chemicals and is grown with sustainable practices.
2. Polyester, nylon, and acrylic(Fabrics derived from petroleum)
These fabrics take a long time to decompose because they are made from non-renewable resources. In fact, they can release microplastics during washing. Instead choose natural, organic, or recycled alternatives when possible.
3. Conventional silk
Producing traditional silk often involves boiling silkworms alive in their cocoons, which raises ethical concerns. Peace silk or Tencel lyocell are cruelty-free alternatives to conventional silk.
4. Fur and exotic animal skins
The production of these materials might involve unethical treatment of animals, and the environmental impact of their production can be significant. Even when someone is claiming to be ethical, it can be difficult to verify and trust. Faux fur or vegan leather alternatives are more sustainable and cruelty-free choices.
5. Cheap and fast fashion items
Fast fashion is notorious for its negative environmental and social impacts. Producing them requires harmful chemicals, such as dyes, pesticides, and other toxic substances which are later released into the environment. They are rarely recyclable and depending on the fabric used, possibly release microplastics as well! Further, fast fashion encourages rapidly discarding old clothes and buying new ones which increases the amount of waste produced.
By keeping in mind how our fabrics are made before we make a purchase, we can do our bit in protecting the environment! Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.