TLDR; When it comes to shopping sustainably, the materials matter! Sustainable fibers have come a long way, with bigger and better innovations resulting in more eco-friendly options. Find 12 sustainable materials that you need to know.
Looking for sustainable materials for your home and wardrobe? In this article, we explore the 12 most common sustainable materials used in clothing, fashion, and home goods today. Learn about the benefits of each material, as well as where to find sustainable clothing and home decor made from these materials.
Great for breathable bedding
Tencel is a cellulosic fiber made from responsibly harvested, fast-growing, and highly renewable eucalyptus. It’s made in a closed-loop process reusing almost 100% of all water and solvents.
Properties: Ultra-silky, shiny, long-lasting, durable, gentle, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and moisture-wicking.
Sensitive skin friendly
Bamboo is actually a fast-growing grass that produces 35% more oxygen than trees, improves soil quality, and helps prevent erosion. Natural bamboo is processed into a Lyocell fabric using a process that reuses 99% of chemicals used.
Properties: Sleek, durable, buttery soft, moisturewicking, antimicrobial, and hypoallergenic
Lightweight and breathable
Hemp is a fast-growing fibrous plant that requires much less water than cotton. It’s also a carbon-negative crop — absorbing more carbon dioxide from the air that it creates. Hemp is great for breathable clothing and bedding.
Properties: Lightweight, breathable, temperature regulating, extremely durable, antibacterial, and gets softer with time.
Easy to care for
Organic cotton is never genetically modified and is always grown without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, which means those nasty chemicals stay far away from you and your skin. Great for long-lasting clothing.
Properties: Breathable, keeps you cool, easy to care for, pet-friendly, and budget-friendly.
Gets softer with each wash
Linen is made from the flax plant, which is fastgrowing, requires little to no pesticides or fertilizers, and needs far less water than cotton. In fact, growing flax sometimes requires no irrigation. Great for fast-drying towels and bedding.
Properties: Breathable, temperature-regulating, durable, sunlight-resistant, and gets softer with each wash.
6. Banana Fiber
The coolest silk alternative
Banana fiber is an incredible natural, sustainable, and versatile fiber made from pseudostems (a fancy name for the trunk) of the banana tree — a byproduct of the banana industry that would otherwise be discarded. Banana Viscose is great for breathable, lightweight, warm-weather clothing.
Properties: Silky, breathable, absorbent, and hypoallergenic.
An innovative fabric
A seaweed-based fabric, Seacell’s amino acids and high levels of antioxidants help protect your skin. Great for underwear because it’s naturally breathable and antibacterial. Seacell is made in an eco-friendly closed-loop process, similar to Lyocell.
Properties: Moisture-wicking, antibacterial, absorbent, breathable, hypoallergenic, and great for your skin.
The OG sustainable fiber
One of the first fibers to be woven into fabric, wool is the most recyclable fiber on the planet. Sheep make wool naturally and need to be sheered during warmer months. Wool is great for natural fiber rugs, and also wonderful for warm, temperature-regulating slippers.
Properties: Durable, warm, naturally wrinkle-resistant, flexible, stain-resistant, and moisture-wicking.
Locally harvested in Africa
Sisal and sweetgrass are native to many African countries and continue to grow and produce new fibers after they are harvested. Both fibers are used in long-lasting durable baskets and hampers.
Properties: Sturdy, versatile, and strong.
Made from discarded apple peels and fruit waste from the juice industry, apple leather is truly amazing. Through a proprietary process of combining discarded fibers, bio-contents, and a tiny amount of water-based polyurethane, an innovative leather alternative is created! Apple leather looks exquisite as a purse, tote, or bag.
Properties: Cruelty-free, non-toxic, and sturdy.
Recycled clay ceramics
Ironstone is a formulation of sustainably-sourced raw materials including recycled clay. Its unique recipe makes it stronger and more climate-friendly compared to traditional handmade ceramics.
Properties: Microwave-safe, dishwasher-safe, oven-safe, freezer-safe, food-safe, durable, scratch-resistant, and chip-resistant, too!
12. Recycled Copper
Great for cooking and serving
Copper has many health benefits, including boosting the digestive system, improving cardiovascular health, and aiding in skin health. We also love copper because of its ability to evenly heat when used as cookware, and its brilliant shine when used on the table.
Properties: Antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal. Cookware heats quickly and evenly.
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