In recent years, many companies in the fashion world have shifted towards more ethical and sustainable production. Whether for purely commercial motives or for ethical reasons, sustainable fashion has finally become a reality recognised by all.
It is difficult to give a clear definition of sustainable fashion as well as of eco-friendly fabrics in general terms. For some, these concepts apply exclusively to ecological clothing, for others it is simply a way of dressing for a specific target.
These aspects aside, what we are interested in is everything that revolves around the production of eco-friendly fabrics.
Starting from eco-friendly fabrics
The eco-friendly fabrics that must be included in this “exclusive ecological circle” definitely include organic cotton, linen, wool and silk, just to name a few. These natural fibres are obtained from fibrous plants, from which it is possible to extract the textile fibre of the same name or obtained from materials of animal origin. Today, natural fibres account for approximately 40% of all textile fibres used in the world.
It is a short step from natural fibres to eco-friendly fabrics. These are chosen and appreciated for their countless advantages. The most obvious is their eco-friendliness, since they come from renewable sources as well as being biodegradable.
Organic cotton is a natural fibre extracted from the plant of the same name. Cotton is currently the most commonly used fabric in the world of fashion and beyond. The cultivation of organic cotton differs from other crops because, although it requires great attention from man, it remains a clean, ecological and socially ethical form of agriculture.
There are also other organic certifications, such as GOTS, which impose eco-sustainable production, not only in terms of crops but also during the processing of the eco-friendly fabric, up to the finished and marketed product.
Linen is a cellulosic fibre derived from the stem of the flax plant. These fibres, used to make the eco-friendly fabric, are much stronger and glossier than other textile fibres and thanks to these qualities they give life to cool and extremely breathable fabrics.
Flax plants do not need large amounts of water, nor excessive use of the chemical substances commonly used in agriculture. The processing of the fabric also has a much lower environmental impact compared to the production of other fabrics.
Organic wool is a natural textile fibre and the basis of one of the most frequently used natural fabrics in the world, considered the most precious textile material since the dawn of time. This eco-friendly fabric has high thermal performance, which, thanks to its ability to trap air, is also perfect in summer because it prevents heat from coming into contact with the body (just think of the Tuareg ethnic group). It is also highly recommended during winter because, conversely, it prevents the heat produced by the body from being dispersed.
Organic wool is an eco-friendly fabric with a low environmental impact, for which the GOTS certification ensures organic farming, respect for animal rights, organic feed and pastures instead of intensive farming, also excluding toxic substances from the production chain.
Silk is a natural yarn and is obtained from the cocoon built by silkworms during their metamorphosis, originating from a more attentive and responsible production method than the traditional method, meaning that non-chemically treated plants are used and no chemical aids are used to obtain the final eco-friendly fabric.
The practice used to create this eco-friendly fabric is very respectful of the environment, and therefore sustainable. Aspects that also affect the quality of the fibre itself, which for this reason tends to be better. Silk, as an eco-friendly fabric, is naturally heavier also considering its greater intrinsic strength. This makes it a safe product from a health standpoint since it does not put any kind of chemical substance in contact with the skin.