Updated: Mar 23, 2022
So catching up with our blog on "What fabrics you wear matters" here we come with some more sustainable fabrics you can opt for.
To revisit the previous blogs on sustainable fabrics you can follow the links here
The name brings fresh memories of our beloved "Mahatma Gandhi". He was the man who brought this fabric to life in protest to the British.
This fabric is hand woven on a charkha or spinning wheel and uses cotton, silk or wool. In Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, Organic cotton is used to make Organic khadi which is the ultimate green and Eco friendly fabric with very less impact on the environment. Organic Khadi is hand spun with organic cotton thus the most energy efficient fabric. This fabric when dyed and printed with chemical free dyes is the ultimate green solution to an Eco friendly fabric. Reviving back this fabric will give thousands of skilled weavers their lost livelihood.
The process of khadi weaving is laborious and is time intensive unlike the new fabrics that are made in factories within no time. Hence hand looms are slightly expensive and need special care. This fabric keeps it cool in summers and warm in the winters! It looks elegant and so natural.
Suggestion: While you spend fortunes on the Non Eco friendly fabrics for various events why not opt for going for this age old elegant fabric which is totally environment friendly and you will help a skilled weaver get his or her employment along with preserving this wonderful fabric from going extinct!!
Silk on its own is completely biodegradable. It is a natural fiber obtained from cocoons of silk worm (Bombyx Mori).
Sustainability comes into play much earlier in the life of a silk thread. Thus, when it comes to sustainability, organic silk is the clear winner. Be sure to buy OTEX or GOTS certified organic silk. This fabric is free from harmful chemicals and is produced from sustainably grown mulberry plants.
Ahimsa silk/ peace silk is a great move from ethical standpoint. In conventional silk production cocoons are boiled in water killing the pupae inside them before spinning silk fibers. Ahimsa allows silk moth to leave the cocoon on its own and only then the cocoons are used to extract silk.
Muga silk is a luxurious variety of silk with natural golden luster. Hence it is not dyed making it Eco friendly by nature.
Why opt for Organic silk?
Silk moths feed exclusively and voraciously on mulberry leaves. Fertilizers and pesticides are used extensively to increase mulberry leaves production. Later silk may also be dyed using harmful synthetic dyes. Weighting is another concern that is objectionable for the environment as well as human health. Silk is sold to whole sellers by weight (not by yards or meters). Metallic salts such as iron, tin and lead are added to silk fabric by immersing the fabric in salt baths to increase its weight and make more profit. Weighting may increase the weight of fabric by 3 to 4 times. This process makes the silk fabric weak and is detrimental to environment along with causing health problems to some individuals.
Suggestion: Go for hand loomed silk produced in small villages and it is most likely innately Eco friendly.
Lyocell / Tencel
Lyocell is much like Rayon fabric. It is made from cellulose derived from wood. It has gained acceptance in Eco fashion industry as is breathable, soft, can be made into different textures and at the same time better for the environment compared to conventional cotton.
Trees like eucalyptus, oak, birch from which Lyocell is derived use much less water, fertilizers and pesticides than cotton farming. Lyocell production is simpler as compared to Rayon which means lesser chemicals are used. A closed loop system is employed during manufacturing so that all the chemicals used in fiber regeneration are separated and used again for the next batch. So although harmful chemicals are used in the manufacturing, 99% are pulled back and stopped from going to the environment.
Tencel is a patented brand of Lyocell fabric which uses wood from sustainably managed forests. They use their efficient refibra technology for recovering chemicals and water back into production cycle.
Recycled clothing is becoming a huge market of late. We will see where the world trends are going when it comes to recycled and reused clothes in the next blog.