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  • Naomi Stephens | Permaculture Designer

Eco Friendly Fabrics

Updated: Apr 26, 2022

Many individuals and organizations are now developing new concepts and ideas for clothing.

It includes using eco-friendly products that can help reduce pollution. The clothes we often wear can damage the environment after we dispose of them. This is because a lot of commercial clothes are actually made out of plastic. These plastic fibers are called:

  • Polyester

  • Nylon

  • Acrylic

Therefore, to avert this disaster, more businesses in the textiles, garments, apparel, and fashion industry are making clothes using sustainable materials.

Sustainable materials will ensure there are no harmful effects on the environment, and they are comparatively cheaper than their synthetic counterparts.

Have you wondered what sustainable, eco-friendly fabrics are?

Here they are:

Plant-based Fabric

Several plant-based fibres can be used to make fabrics. Examples include,

  • organic cotton possesses the same quality as conventional cotton. But, organic cotton doesn't harm the environment.

  • The flax plant produces a common natural fibre called linen. In doing so, it uses relatively fewer resources, such as energy, pesticides, water, fertilisers, etc., than polyester or cotton.

  • Similarly, hemp that comes from the hemp plant requires considerably fewer resources even though it is one of the fastest-growing plants. It is great for the soil too.

The benefits of using these plant-based fibers are their bio-degradable characteristics which makes them less harmful to the environment.

Recycled Fabric

The industry has proved that anything is possible with proper waste management. As such, they recycle cotton, polyester, nylon, and wool to make the fabric for the new clothing.

Recycled cotton comes from old garments and textile leftovers, while recycled polyester is made of recycled plastics bottle. Meanwhile, recycled nylons come primarily from old fishing nets of the fishermen.

In addition, recycled wool comes from wool garments from landfills.

As you can see the sources of most of these textiles comes primarily from landfills. Research is ongoing to make these textiles available from old clothes and not the landfills.

Although it faces several technological challenges, it will be a game-changer if it becomes successful.


The semi-synthetics are eco-friendly fibres as they have a low environmental impact. For instance, rayon is made using an eco-friendly manufacturing procedure called lyocell and it is 100% biodegradable.

Meanwhile, do you know that fibers can be made from fruits!?

Orange fiber is produced from the orange skins from the juice industry wastes.

Pineapple fiber called pinatex is made from pineapple leaves, which is a sustainable procedure.


The gradual global approach to reduce environmental pollution is gradually bearing its fruits, albeit slowly. We can contribute to these changes by being mindful of what clothing fabrics we purchase that are more sustainable.

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