What Makes Textiles Eco-Friendly?

What Makes Textiles Eco-Friendly?

So you’re wanting to make more eco-friendly and sustainable purchases, and a good area to start is through home goods. You hop onto Google to see what your options are in terms of towels, and you’re inundated with articles about different eco-friendly fabrics. But what makes a fabric or textile eco friendly and why should textiles be eco-friendly?

There are many amazing documentaries about the textile industry, we suggest “The True Cost” to wet your palette. Many people don’t know that the textile industry is one of the largest contributors to the climate crisis. By supporting sustainable home goods brands and fashion brands and voting with your dollar - you can be part of the change!

We digress. Back to textiles - what makes them eco-friendly? The main requirements are: 

  1. They’re sustainable to grow

  2. Available in nature

  3. The raw materials do not use a large amount of chemicals or toxins in the form of pesticides to cultivate. 

  4. The manufacturing process can be both sustainable and eco-friendly. 

For example, when synthetic fibers are made, typically there’s a plethora of different chemicals used and emitted into the environment due to the fact that they need to be treated in several stages to create fabric for clothing, towels etc. 
There are a variety of newer fabric blends being made that are designed with end of life in mind, which makes them more sustainable and close the manufacturing and production loop in the long run. These include hemp, wool, organic cotton, soy silk, bamboo fabric (careful this one comes with a few exceptions check out our blog article on this here. ), jute, and corn fiber. The most popular that are associated with being environmentally friendly and often found in the mass market are bamboo, organic cotton and some hemp blends. 

Bamboo is an amazing plant, but consumers need to be mindful of the type of bamboo fabric they’re contemplating on buying, especially if they are trying to make a sustainable and environmentally friendly purchase. Most bamboo fabrics are really made out of rayon, which requires a lot of different chemical treatments and loses many  of its natural components by the time it’s ready  for consumption. Also, these different chemical treatments can be  emitted into the air and water which are huge contaminants. It’s very important to make sure that the bamboo fabric you’re about to purchase was naturally treated and ethically sourced. 

At Anact, we decided to use a unique blend of hemp and organic cotton, because through our research we found that this blend was the most ethically sourced, cultivated, durable and sustainably made. The research that we based this off of is the Higg Material Sustainability Index (MSI) which was started by Nike and later adopted by the Outdoor Industry Association. 

The use of both hemp and organic cotton ensures your towels will stay soft, last forever and still have hemp’s natural biostatic properties which makes them cleaner and less prone to bacteria growth.

We truly believe that hemp is the future of sustainability not just in the textile industry.

If you’re interested in learning more about hemp fabrics, check out our blog article here. 

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