8 Greatest Sustainable Materials That Will Scale back Toxin Publicity

Low cost artificial materials have change into the world’s kryptonite. We simply can’t appear to kick the behavior. 

From the garments hanging in your closet to the carpet below your toes, common use and publicity to virgin plastic-based fibers pose a terrific danger to your well being and the planet. 

The excellent news? Many sustainable manufacturers are difficult the artificial established order, making a wealthy tapestry of high-quality and progressive sustainable materials for a greater world. 

We get it although. In a brand new age of acutely aware consumerism, making an attempt to determine probably the most sustainable materials in a sea of greenwashing fluff can really feel like a frightening process. 

On this article we cowl a number of the finest sustainable materials in circulation proper now, itemizing the professionals and cons and total sustainability ranking for every so you’ll be able to really feel assured you’re making the very best resolution for your self and the atmosphere. 

What Are Sustainable Materials? 

Sustainable materials are supplies constructed from both pure or recycled fibers and are manufactured in a means that causes minimal environmental and social hurt. In different phrases, sustainable materials are created in a closed-loop manufacturing course of with a assure of excessive moral labor requirements. 

Sustainable materials should have the capability to both be repurposed into one thing new or naturally break down within the atmosphere – we’re speaking recyclable, biodegradable, or compostable! 

A simple option to determine probably the most sustainable materials is by searching for sustainable certifications such because the Higher Cotton Initiative, World Natural Textile Normal, and Bluesign

Or higher nonetheless, maintain studying this simple and informative information to sustainable materials – you gained’t remorse it! 

Why Use Sustainable Materials

Selecting the best sustainable supplies would possibly simply change the very material of our society – if you’ll excuse the pun! 

Non-Sustainable Materials Are Dangerous to the Planet

Low cost artificial supplies – specifically virgin plastic fibers like polyester, nylon, acrylic, and spandex – are presently the spine of sectors just like the quick style business. Nevertheless, the growing circulation of plastic-based supplies is posing a terrific danger to our well being and the planet. 

The manufacturing of artificial fibers generates an enormous environmental footprint, accounting for  1.35% of worldwide oil consumption. Shockingly, it’s estimated an Olympic pool’s price of crude oil is consumed each 25 minutes to maintain up with our demand for artificial clothes. 

Artificial supplies shed microplastics that seep into the atmosphere throughout manufacturing, use, and disposal. Roughly 200,000 – 500,000 tonnes of microfibers from textile waste are unleashed into the ocean annually, with dangerous microplastic particles infiltrating nearly each place on earth.

Sustainable Materials Can Profit Your Well being

As we proceed to navigate our busy lives, it’s simple to miss the influence that the garments we put on have on our well being. However, do you know that the materials we select to placed on our our bodies can have an effect on our pores and skin, fertility, and even contribute to long-term well being issues?

What’s extra, artificial fibers are sometimes made with a mixture of extremely poisonous chemical compounds, which might trigger many well being and environmental issues. Take polyester, for instance. Sporting the world’s hottest material towards your pores and skin may cause sure kinds of cancers, pores and skin points, respiratory infections, and even fertility points and reproductive issues.

By choosing extra sustainable, low-impact, non-toxic materials, we are able to scale back our toxin publicity and positively influence our well being.

How Recycled Artificial Fibers Can Be Sustainable Materials

Plastic bottles. Fishing nets. Textile scraps. 

Many manufacturers are opting to rebuild post-industrial and post-consumer artificial waste into recycled materials. 

On the one hand, recycled artificial fibers are a terrific sustainable material as a result of it retains plastic waste in circulation relatively than ending up landfills and harming the atmosphere. 

Manufacturing artificial fibers makes use of far fewer assets and produce a decrease carbon footprint in comparison with virgin plastic. In actual fact, producing recycled polyester (rPET) makes use of 59% much less vitality than virgin polyester. 

The unhealthy information? Recycled artificial fibers nonetheless trigger microplastic air pollution and can’t biodegrade when disposed of. 

Tip: Should you resolve to buy an merchandise constructed from recycled artificial fibers, be sure that to purchase a microplastic filter (if it must be washed repeatedly) or select sustainable manufacturers which have a take-back clothes program.

Plus, there is no such thing as a assure that recycled supplies are fully toxic-free, with a examine by Brunel College London displaying recycled PET plastic containing greater ranges of hormone disruptor bisphenol A (BPA) in comparison with virgin PET.  

If unsure, look out for recycled sustainable materials with certifications similar to STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® which confirms that the fabric is free from substances that might doubtlessly hurt your well being and the planet. 

A Purchaser’s Information For The 8 Greatest Sustainable Materials

Beneath is an inventory of our prime 8 most sustainable materials that we’ve rated on our sustainability scale from 1-5, 5 being probably the most sustainable choice and 1 which means least sustainable.

1. Piñatex

Showing a black purse made from the sustainable fabric Piñatex


  • Repurposes fruit waste
  • No dangerous chemical compounds (Cradle to Cradle® Licensed)
  • Robust materials, versatile and simple to look after
  • Wrinkle resistant
  • Cruelty-free and vegan
  • Reasonably priced


  • Not 100% biodegradable because of water-based plastic resin
  • Doubtlessly not as sturdy as animal leather-based
  • Not waterproof; solely water resistant
  • Low warmth resistance

Piñatex is an moral leather-based different constructed from discarded pineapple leaves. Luxuriously tender, sturdy, and light-weight, Piñatex has a really low environmental influence and helps native pineapple farmers to earn a dwelling wage.

Usually Used In: clothes, equipment, tender furnishings, automotive purposes

Manufacturers that use Piñatex: Immaculate Vegan, Wolf and Badger, Hozen

Cloth Care: use pure wax for leather-based items and wash clothes by hand

Longevity: can final for a lot of years if correctly cared for

Value: principally reasonably priced

Sustainability Ranking: 4.0

2. TENCEL™ Lyocell

Showing white bedding made from the sustainable fabric TENCEL™ Lyocell


  • Breathable, moisture-wicking, light on pores and skin
  • Robust and long-lasting
  • Biodegradable and compostable
  • Renewable useful resource
  • Available
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Licensed by USDA’s BioPreferred®, TÜV Austria Belgium NV, and EU Ecolabel


  • Could be delicate, requires further care
  • Solely biodegradable or compostable if 100% lyocell (usually blended with different materials)
  • Dearer than related sustainable materials e.g. natural cotton

TENCEL™ Lyocell is a naturally tender and sturdy eco-friendly material constructed from sustainably sourced wooden, a 100% renewable and uncooked materials. TENCEL™ Lyocell follows an environmentally-friendly closed-loop manufacturing course of, is non-toxic, and is extra hygienic than different materials as a result of it’s so breathable.

Usually Used In: activewear, workwear, denim, footwear, underwear, residence decor, bedding

Manufacturers that use TENCEL™ Lyocell: Hole, Natural Fundamentals, Sijo House

Cloth Care: hand wash or machine at low temperature

Longevity: very sturdy, ought to final a very long time

Value: could be costlier because of particular manufacturing know-how

Sustainability Ranking: 4.5

3. Natural Linen

Showing a bralette made from the sustainable fabric Organic Linen


  • Light-weight and sturdy
  • Pure material; 100% biodegradable and compostable
  • Sustainably harvested and manufactured
  • Light-weight, breathable and really absorbent
  • Anti-bacterial and hypoallergenic


  • Vulnerable to wrinkling
  • Dearer
  • Not very versatile

Natural Linen is constructed from flax vegetation, an historic sustainable fiber that’s 100% renewable and doesn’t require any pesticides or fertilizers. Ideally suited for cold and warm climates, natural linen turns into softer with each wash so it’s assured to final you a very long time! 

Be aware: Not all linen is manufactured sustainably and ethically so you’ll want to look out for linen that’s licensed natural. 

Usually Used In: bedding, kitchen textiles, clothes, tender furnishings

Manufacturers that use Natural Linen: Coyuchi, CB2

Cloth Care: hand wash or wash on a low temperature (ideally chilly wash with a gentle detergent)

Longevity: can final for a few years if cared for correctly

Value: costly

Sustainability Ranking: 5.0

4. Natural Cotton

Showing a sweater made from the sustainable fabric Organic Cotton


  • Sustainably harvested and manufactured
  • Tender, breathable and nice for delicate pores and skin
  • Pure material; 100% biodegradable and compostable
  • Robust and versatile
  • Simple to look after and extra reasonably priced


  • Decrease yield; requires extra assets to provide
  • Wrinkles simply
  • Dearer to provide and promote than commonplace cotton

Should you’re on the lookout for a sustainable material that’s high-quality and reasonably priced, then strive natural cotton! Natural cotton farming and manufacturing work with nature relatively than towards it, sustaining wholesome soils, saving water, and avoiding dangerous chemical compounds and pesticides. 

Be aware: When manufacturers say “natural” be sure that claims are backed up by credible sustainable certifications.

Usually Used In: clothes, tender furnishings, bedding, magnificence merchandise, diapers

Manufacturers that use Natural Cotton: Pact Clothes, Goal, Everlane

Cloth Care: machine cleanable, keep away from excessive temperatures

Longevity: lasts a very long time if cared for correctly

Value: principally reasonably priced

Sustainability Ranking: 4.5

5. Natural Hemp

Showing table coverings made from the sustainable fabric Organic Hemp


  • Light-weight, breathable, insulating
  • Naturally anti-bacterial, odor-resistant
  • Renewable, biodegradable, compostable
  • Low environmental influence throughout each stage of manufacturing
  • Gives UV safety
  • Simple to look after (gained’t lose form)


  • Dearer
  • Low demand, not available
  • Vulnerable to wrinkling
  • Could be blended with artificial fibers

Hemp is among the oldest materials in human historical past. Sturdy and versatile, Hemp has a excessive tensile energy in comparison with different supplies similar to cotton and its high quality improves with each wash. Hemp grows shortly, requires little water, and is chemical-free and pesticide-free. 

Be aware: Chemical compounds can be utilized in the course of the processing stage so look out for pure dyes and licensed natural labels.

Usually Used In: clothes, footwear, bedding, swimwear, tender furnishings, paper, insulation

Manufacturers that use Natural Hemp: Rawganique, Eileen Fisher, Hemptique, Again Beat

Cloth Care: machine cleanable on a mild cycle or hand wash

Longevity: can final for many years if cared for correctly

Value: costly

Sustainability Ranking: 5.0

6. Econyl®

Showing a blue women's swimsuit made from the sustainable fabric Econyl


  • Robust, stretchy and light-weight
  • Water resistant
  • Moisture-wicking and quick-drying
  • Infinitely recyclable
  • Extra reasonably priced
  • Follows an eco-friendly manufacturing course of and is licensed by OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100
  • Simple to look after


  • Danger of microfiber air pollution
  • Not very breathable
  • Low UV resistance
  • Can’t biodegrade
  • Not simple or low-cost to recycle

From outdated carpets to fishing nets, Econyl transforms pre-consumer and post-consumer waste into a robust and versatile sustainable material. Econyl is free from substances that hurt human well being and is simply as sturdy as virgin nylon however with out the colossal environmental footprint

Usually Used In: form-fitting clothes (e.g. activewear, swimwear, and underwear), luggage, carpets, ropes, traces

Manufacturers that use Econyl®: Fisch, Evarae, Leonessa Lingerie, Norba

Cloth Care: machine cleanable, keep away from excessive temperatures, air dry

Longevity: can final for a few years if cared for correctly

Value: principally reasonably priced

Sustainability Ranking: 3.5

7. Bananatex®

Showing a blue women's swimsuit made from the sustainable fabric Bananatex®


  • Excessive sturdiness and tensile energy
  • Breathable and moisture-wicking
  • 100% biodegradable and compostable
  • Tender, comfy, shimmery
  • Extra reasonably priced
  • Protected and pure (Cradle to Cradle Licensed® Gold and OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 Licensed)


  • Could be costlier
  • Can simply wrinkle and lose form

Bananatex® is among the world’s strongest sustainable materials constructed from 100% pure fibers. Utilizing the a part of the Abacá banana plant that will in any other case go to waste, Abacá is totally self-sufficient, requires no pesticides or further water, and contributes to reforestation and the monetary safety of farming communities. 

Usually Used In: luggage, clothes (e.g. lingerie, clothes, blouses), paper items, sanitary merchandise, automobile tires, mats, bins

Manufacturers that use Bananatex®: Charlotta Aman, Inuikii, QWSTION

Cloth Care: hand wash or machine wash on a cool cycle

Longevity: very sturdy; banana fiber foreign money notes can last as long as 100 years!

Value: costlier

Sustainability Ranking: 5.0


Showing a blue women's swimsuit made from the sustainable fabric REPREVE®


  • Sturdy and versatile
  • Light-weight and moisture-wicking
  • Recyclable
  • Crease resistant
  • Available and extra reasonably priced
  • Clear, traceable and licensed provide chain
  • Simple to look after


  • Can’t biodegrade
  • Danger of microber air pollution
  • Not very breathable
  • Can simply capsule

REPREVE® retains trash out of landfills by changing plastic bottles and post-industrial waste into a versatile and high-performing sustainable material. An eco-friendly different to virgin polyester, REPREVE® is licensed by OEKO-TEX® STANDARD and the World Recycling Normal to guard human well being and the planet. 

Usually Used In: clothes, footwear, residence decor, industrial, automotive


Cloth Care: machine cleanable on a low temperature

Longevity: can final for years if cared for correctly

Value: principally reasonably priced

Sustainability Ranking: 3.5

Ultimate Ideas On Sustainable Materials 

So there you have got it! Our information to a number of the finest sustainable materials in circulation proper now.  

It feels as if unsustainable materials have crept into nearly each nook of recent life. As a worldwide society, we’ve change into particularly reliant on low-cost artificial supplies that are proving to be unhealthy information for our well being and the planet. 

However all will not be misplaced! 

Over the previous couple of years, many sustainable style manufacturers are placing their expertise to the take a look at and discovering inventive methods to make use of sustainable materials, from plant-based fibers to recycled supplies. 

So whenever you subsequent go to purchase a product, be sure that to bear in mind this information to sustainable materials. Why? As a result of selecting sustainable materials is among the finest issues you are able to do for your self and the atmosphere. 

Make sure to try our information to Reasonably priced Sustainable Clothes to study a number of the many sustainable manufacturers which might be efficiently utilizing sustainable materials for a brighter future.


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