The idea of environmentally friendly fabrics probably conjures up imagery of natural fabrics. They are made with natural fibers sprouting in a huge field or being spun by a bunch of silkworms. It is true that natural fabrics feel great against the skin and only use the world’s natural resources to grow. However, there is another fantastic fabric range making waves in the textile world.
What are environmentally friendly fabrics?
The production and use of natural fabrics has created an impressive and optimistic future for the textile industry. With increased awareness of climate change and the personal and industrial responsibility to change, the production and use of environmentally friendly fabrics is on the rise. Yay!
Here are some reasons why:
- Organic cotton is grown without the use of toxins or chemical inputs
- Bamboo is incredibly hardy, highly renewable, and biodegradable
- Hemp is pest-tolerant and very easy to cultivate, making it highly ecological
- Recycled polyester is made from PET, which is a huge contributor to the plastic recycling process
- Organic wool does not use any toxins and is produced with sustainable farming
- Linen requires far less water to grow than other fabrics
From fairer trade and safer methods for farmers to longer-lasting, hypoallergenic clothing and furnishings for consumers, environmentally friendly fabrics benefit everyone in the fabrics chain. The textile industry doesn’t have to be a linear economy. Every small change we make can have a ripple effect across the fabric world and the wider world too.
Why do we need these eco-friendly fabrics?
In a world of fast-fashion, we are so used to the ‘Make, Use, Dispose’ fabrics process. These fabrics have boomed alongside the fashion industry in the last century, making the rate of production higher than ever. However, the average number of times that a clothing item is worn before becoming waste has halved since the year 2000. There’s no denying the enormous impact fast-fashion has on the environment, but we don’t have to keep it that way.
By 2050, the textile industry alone will consume an estimated 300 million tonnes of non-renewable resources. That’s three times the consumption figures of 2015. In order to change how the industry looks at production, several organizations have formed over the last few years to promote environmental awareness and move towards circular fashion.
Making a change with environmentally friendly fabrics
Contrado wants to be a part of the change. Fabrics are our thing. And if there’s a way to use eco-friendly materials, we do not hesitate to jump into action!
We know how natural fabrics can make your life better, but eco-friendly fabrics will make the whole world better. That’s why we have created a range of fantastic environmentally friendly fabrics, all of which can be printed with your own designs or ordered with amazing designs of our #ContradoCreatives. Here are our top 6 eco-friendly fabrics that we know you’ll just love, with their best features and uses.
This beautiful poplin is one of our certified ‘Field-to-Loom’ fabrics. From farming to weaving, every single step of the production process of this fabric was complete without any chemical input. Our organic poplin is crisp, bright, and firm. Made from 100% natural cotton fibers and an entirely organic process, our organic cotton poplin is one of our favorite fabrics to print on. The white base tone means your colors are reproduced with brilliant vibrancy. Bright, bold prints are perfect for this fabric.
- Best Qualities: Lightweight, firm, warm
- Best Uses: Pillowcases, nightwear
This charming half-panama weave is 100% certified organic cotton. This cotton uses a lower volume of water than most fabrics and is produced in a completely organic way. Organic half-panama cotton has a soft but distinctly woven texture that doesn’t interfere with the print. Unbleached with a warm base case, this organic cotton is a firm favorite for vintage crafters. Bring back the good vibrations of the 60s with a classic print on this organic half-panama weave.
- Best Qualities: Rustic, tight weave, opaque
- Best Uses: Tote bags, soft furnishings
This cotton canvas is uncoated with a stiff drape and is completely organic. The impressive softness and matte finish certainly secure its place in the list. Similar to the half-panama fabric, it’s rustic and produces prints with authentic, muted tones. For soft furnishings with a rural feel, organic cotton canvas is a top pick for crafters, fabric hobbyists, and seasoned designers.
- Best Qualities: Soft, authentic muted tones
- Best Uses: Cushions, light upholstery
For prints both striking and strong, our Gaia eco woven fabric is a first class choice. Made from 100% recycled PET materials, the production of this fabric actively engages with the recycling process. Completely opaque with a slightly rough textured on both sides, it brings something exciting to your crafty table. Gaia is ideal for curtains and similar draping products, but also great for cushions and even coats.
- Best Qualities: Durable, coarse, opaque
- Best Uses: Curtains, coats
In an unbleached calico state, organic cotton drill gives your designs depth and character. Made with 100% organic cotton fibers, cotton drill fabric is all-natural. It has a distinct texture and visible cotton seed husks. So there’s no denying the originals of this pure, organic cotton drill. This fantastic feature means that every print on organic cotton drill is utterly unique, even if you print the same design across several pieces.
- Best Qualities: Hard-wearing, warm
- Best Uses: Jackets, skirts, denim alternative
It’s your turn
We all care about the environment. It’s our world, and we only have one. So, why not be a part of the change and try printing on environmentally friendly fabrics yourself? Turn your crafting fingers green and make cushions, clothes, bedding, curtains, teddies, and bags that make a difference.