8 Greatest Sustainable Materials That Will Scale back Toxin Publicity


Low-cost artificial materials have develop into the world’s kryptonite. We simply can’t appear to kick the behavior. 

From the garments hanging in your closet to the carpet below your ft, common use and publicity to virgin plastic-based fibers pose a fantastic threat to your well being and the planet. 

The excellent news? Many sustainable manufacturers are difficult the artificial established order, making a wealthy tapestry of high-quality and modern sustainable materials for a greater world. 

We get it although. In a brand new age of aware consumerism, attempting to establish essentially the most sustainable materials in a sea of greenwashing fluff can really feel like a frightening activity. 

On this article we cowl a number of the greatest sustainable materials in circulation proper now, itemizing the professionals and cons and general sustainability score for every so you’ll be able to really feel assured you’re making one of the best determination for your self and the surroundings. 

What Are Sustainable Materials? 

Sustainable materials are supplies produced from both pure or recycled fibers and are manufactured in a means that causes minimal environmental and social hurt. In different phrases, sustainable materials are created in a closed-loop manufacturing course of with a assure of excessive moral labor requirements. 

Sustainable materials should have the capability to both be repurposed into one thing new or naturally break down within the surroundings – we’re speaking recyclable, biodegradable, or compostable! 

A straightforward method to establish essentially the most sustainable materials is by looking for sustainable certifications such because the Higher Cotton Initiative, International Natural Textile Normal, and Bluesign

Or higher nonetheless, hold studying this simple and informative information to sustainable materials – you gained’t remorse it! 

Why Use Sustainable Materials

Selecting the best sustainable supplies would possibly simply change the very cloth of our society – if you’ll excuse the pun! 

Non-Sustainable Materials Are Dangerous to the Planet

Low-cost artificial supplies – specifically virgin plastic fibers like polyester, nylon, acrylic, and spandex – are at present the spine of sectors just like the quick trend business. Nonetheless, the rising circulation of plastic-based supplies is posing a fantastic threat to our well being and the planet. 

The manufacturing of artificial fibers generates an enormous environmental footprint, accounting for  1.35% of world oil consumption. Shockingly, it’s estimated an Olympic pool’s value of crude oil is consumed each 25 minutes to maintain up with our demand for artificial clothes. 

Artificial supplies shed microplastics that seep into the surroundings throughout manufacturing, use, and disposal. Roughly 200,000 – 500,000 tonnes of microfibers from textile waste are unleashed into the ocean annually, with dangerous microplastic particles infiltrating nearly each place on earth.

Sustainable Materials Can Profit Your Well being

As we proceed to navigate our busy lives, it’s simple to miss the impression that the garments we put on have on our well being. However, do you know that the materials we select to placed on our our bodies can have an effect on our pores and skin, fertility, and even contribute to long-term well being issues?

What’s extra, artificial fibers are sometimes made with a mixture of extremely poisonous chemical compounds, which might trigger many well being and environmental issues. Take polyester, for instance. Carrying the world’s hottest cloth in opposition to your pores and skin may cause sure forms of cancers, pores and skin points, respiratory infections, and even fertility points and reproductive issues.

By choosing extra sustainable, low-impact, non-toxic materials, we will cut back our toxin publicity and positively impression our well being.

How Recycled Artificial Fibers Can Be Sustainable Materials

Plastic bottles. Fishing nets. Textile scraps. 

Many manufacturers are opting to rebuild post-industrial and post-consumer artificial waste into recycled materials. 

On the one hand, recycled artificial fibers are a fantastic sustainable cloth as a result of it retains plastic waste in circulation relatively than ending up landfills and harming the surroundings. 

Manufacturing artificial fibers makes use of far fewer assets and produce a decrease carbon footprint in comparison with virgin plastic. In truth, producing recycled polyester (rPET) makes use of 59% much less vitality than virgin polyester. 

The unhealthy information? Recycled artificial fibers nonetheless trigger microplastic air pollution and can’t biodegrade when disposed of. 

Tip: When you resolve to buy an merchandise produced from recycled artificial fibers, ensure to purchase a microplastic filter (if it must be washed often) or select sustainable manufacturers which have a take-back clothes program.

Plus, there is no such thing as a assure that recycled supplies are fully toxic-free, with a research by Brunel College London exhibiting recycled PET plastic containing larger ranges of hormone disruptor bisphenol A (BPA) in comparison with virgin PET.  

If unsure, look out for recycled sustainable materials with certifications comparable to STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® which confirms that the fabric is free from substances that might doubtlessly hurt your well being and the planet. 

A Purchaser’s Information For The 8 Greatest Sustainable Materials

Beneath is a listing of our prime 8 most sustainable materials that we’ve rated on our sustainability scale from 1-5, 5 being essentially the most sustainable choice and 1 that means least sustainable.

1. Piñatex

Showing a black purse made from the sustainable fabric Piñatex


  • Repurposes fruit waste
  • No dangerous chemical compounds (Cradle to Cradle® Licensed)
  • Sturdy materials, versatile and simple to take care of
  • Wrinkle resistant
  • Cruelty-free and vegan
  • Reasonably priced


  • Not 100% biodegradable attributable to water-based plastic resin
  • Probably not as sturdy as animal leather-based
  • Not waterproof; solely water resistant
  • Low warmth resistance

Piñatex is an moral leather-based various produced from discarded pineapple leaves. Luxuriously mushy, sturdy, and light-weight, Piñatex has a really low environmental impression and helps native pineapple farmers to earn a residing wage.

Sometimes Used In: clothes, equipment, mushy furnishings, automotive functions

Manufacturers that use Piñatex: Immaculate Vegan, Wolf and Badger, Hozen

Material Care: use pure wax for leather-based items and wash clothes by hand

Longevity: can final for plenty of years if correctly cared for

Value: largely inexpensive

Sustainability Ranking: 4.0

2. TENCEL™ Lyocell

Showing white bedding made from the sustainable fabric TENCEL™ Lyocell


  • Breathable, moisture-wicking, light on pores and skin
  • Sturdy and long-lasting
  • Biodegradable and compostable
  • Renewable useful resource
  • Available
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Licensed by USDA’s BioPreferred®, TÜV Austria Belgium NV, and EU Ecolabel


  • May be delicate, requires additional care
  • Solely biodegradable or compostable if 100% lyocell (usually blended with different materials)
  • Dearer than comparable sustainable materials e.g. natural cotton

TENCEL™ Lyocell is a naturally mushy and sturdy eco-friendly cloth produced from sustainably sourced wooden, a 100% renewable and uncooked materials. TENCEL™ Lyocell follows an environmentally-friendly closed-loop manufacturing course of, is non-toxic, and is extra hygienic than different materials as a result of it’s so breathable.

Sometimes Used In: activewear, workwear, denim, sneakers, underwear, residence decor, bedding

Manufacturers that use TENCEL™ Lyocell: Hole, Natural Fundamentals, Sijo Dwelling

Material Care: hand wash or machine at low temperature

Longevity: very sturdy, ought to final a very long time

Value: will be dearer attributable to particular manufacturing know-how

Sustainability Ranking: 4.5

3. Natural Linen

Showing a bralette made from the sustainable fabric Organic Linen


  • Light-weight and sturdy
  • Pure cloth; 100% biodegradable and compostable
  • Sustainably harvested and manufactured
  • Light-weight, breathable and really absorbent
  • Anti-bacterial and hypoallergenic


  • Vulnerable to wrinkling
  • Dearer
  • Not very versatile

Natural Linen is produced from flax vegetation, an historical sustainable fiber that’s 100% renewable and doesn’t require any pesticides or fertilizers. Best for cold and hot climates, natural linen turns into softer with each wash so it’s assured to final you a very long time! 

Be aware: Not all linen is manufactured sustainably and ethically so remember to look out for linen that’s licensed natural. 

Sometimes Used In: bedding, kitchen textiles, clothes, mushy furnishings

Manufacturers that use Natural Linen: Coyuchi, CB2

Material Care: hand wash or wash on a low temperature (ideally chilly wash with a light detergent)

Longevity: can final for a few years if cared for correctly

Value: costly

Sustainability Ranking: 5.0

4. Natural Cotton

Showing a sweater made from the sustainable fabric Organic Cotton


  • Sustainably harvested and manufactured
  • Smooth, breathable and nice for delicate pores and skin
  • Pure cloth; 100% biodegradable and compostable
  • Sturdy and versatile
  • Simple to take care of and extra inexpensive


  • Decrease yield; requires extra assets to provide
  • Wrinkles simply
  • Dearer to provide and promote than normal cotton

When you’re on the lookout for a sustainable cloth that’s high-quality and inexpensive, then strive natural cotton! Natural cotton farming and manufacturing work with nature relatively than in opposition to it, sustaining wholesome soils, saving water, and avoiding dangerous chemical compounds and pesticides. 

Be aware: When manufacturers say “natural” ensure claims are backed up by credible sustainable certifications.

Sometimes Used In: clothes, mushy furnishings, bedding, magnificence merchandise, diapers

Manufacturers that use Natural Cotton: Pact Clothes, Goal, Everlane

Material Care: machine cleanable, keep away from excessive temperatures

Longevity: lasts a very long time if cared for correctly

Value: largely inexpensive

Sustainability Ranking: 4.5

5. Natural Hemp

Showing table coverings made from the sustainable fabric Organic Hemp


  • Light-weight, breathable, insulating
  • Naturally anti-bacterial, odor-resistant
  • Renewable, biodegradable, compostable
  • Low environmental impression throughout each stage of manufacturing
  • Supplies UV safety
  • Simple to take care of (gained’t lose form)


  • Dearer
  • Low demand, not available
  • Vulnerable to wrinkling
  • May be blended with artificial fibers

Hemp is among the oldest materials in human historical past. Sturdy and versatile, Hemp has a excessive tensile energy in comparison with different supplies comparable to cotton and its high quality improves with each wash. Hemp grows shortly, requires little water, and is chemical-free and pesticide-free. 

Be aware: Chemical substances can be utilized throughout the processing stage so look out for pure dyes and licensed natural labels.

Sometimes Used In: clothes, sneakers, bedding, swimwear, mushy furnishings, paper, insulation

Manufacturers that use Natural Hemp: Rawganique, Eileen Fisher, Hemptique, Again Beat

Material Care: machine cleanable on a mild cycle or hand wash

Longevity: can final for a long time if cared for correctly

Value: costly

Sustainability Ranking: 5.0

6. Econyl®

Showing a blue women's swimsuit made from the sustainable fabric Econyl


  • Sturdy, stretchy and light-weight
  • Water resistant
  • Moisture-wicking and quick-drying
  • Infinitely recyclable
  • Extra inexpensive
  • Follows an eco-friendly manufacturing course of and is licensed by OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100
  • Simple to take care of


  • Danger of microfiber air pollution
  • Not very breathable
  • Low UV resistance
  • Can’t biodegrade
  • Not simple or low cost to recycle

From previous carpets to fishing nets, Econyl transforms pre-consumer and post-consumer waste into a robust and versatile sustainable cloth. Econyl is free from substances that hurt human well being and is simply as sturdy as virgin nylon however with out the colossal environmental footprint

Sometimes Used In: form-fitting clothes (e.g. activewear, swimwear, and underwear), luggage, carpets, ropes, strains

Manufacturers that use Econyl®: Fisch, Evarae, Leonessa Lingerie, Norba

Material Care: machine cleanable, keep away from excessive temperatures, air dry

Longevity: can final for a few years if cared for correctly

Value: largely inexpensive

Sustainability Ranking: 3.5

7. Bananatex®

Showing a blue women's swimsuit made from the sustainable fabric Bananatex®


  • Excessive sturdiness and tensile energy
  • Breathable and moisture-wicking
  • 100% biodegradable and compostable
  • Smooth, comfy, shimmery
  • Extra inexpensive
  • Secure and pure (Cradle to Cradle Licensed® Gold and OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 Licensed)


  • May be dearer
  • Can simply wrinkle and lose form

Bananatex® is among the world’s strongest sustainable materials produced from 100% pure fibers. Utilizing the a part of the Abacá banana plant that will in any other case go to waste, Abacá is totally self-sufficient, requires no pesticides or additional water, and contributes to reforestation and the monetary safety of farming communities. 

Sometimes Used In: luggage, clothes (e.g. lingerie, attire, blouses), paper items, sanitary merchandise, automobile tires, mats, bins

Manufacturers that use Bananatex®: Charlotta Aman, Inuikii, QWSTION

Material Care: hand wash or machine wash on a cool cycle

Longevity: very sturdy; banana fiber forex notes can last as long as 100 years!

Value: dearer

Sustainability Ranking: 5.0


Showing a blue women's swimsuit made from the sustainable fabric REPREVE®


  • Sturdy and versatile
  • Light-weight and moisture-wicking
  • Recyclable
  • Crease resistant
  • Available and extra inexpensive
  • Clear, traceable and licensed provide chain
  • Simple to take care of


  • Can’t biodegrade
  • Danger of microber air pollution
  • Not very breathable
  • Can simply capsule

REPREVE® retains trash out of landfills by changing plastic bottles and post-industrial waste into a versatile and high-performing sustainable cloth. An eco-friendly various to virgin polyester, REPREVE® is licensed by OEKO-TEX® STANDARD and the International Recycling Normal to guard human well being and the planet. 

Sometimes Used In: clothes, sneakers, residence decor, industrial, automotive


Material Care: machine cleanable on a low temperature

Longevity: can final for years if cared for correctly

Value: largely inexpensive

Sustainability Ranking: 3.5

Ultimate Ideas On Sustainable Materials 

So there you will have it! Our information to a number of the greatest sustainable materials in circulation proper now.  

It feels as if unsustainable materials have crept into nearly each nook of contemporary life. As a worldwide society, we have now develop into particularly reliant on low cost artificial supplies that are proving to be unhealthy information for our well being and the planet. 

However all isn’t misplaced! 

Over the previous couple of years, many sustainable trend manufacturers are placing their abilities to the check and discovering artistic methods to make use of sustainable materials, from plant-based fibers to recycled supplies. 

So whenever you subsequent go to purchase a product, ensure to remember this information to sustainable materials. Why? As a result of selecting sustainable materials is among the greatest issues you are able to do for your self and the surroundings. 

Be sure you try our information to Reasonably priced Sustainable Clothes to find out about a number of the many sustainable manufacturers which can be efficiently utilizing sustainable materials for a brighter future.



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