Understanding Sustainable Fabric: A Guide To Eco Friendly Textiles

You probably have heard several times that it takes around 20,000 liters of water just to make one pair of t-shirts and jeans. Most likely, you must be aware that tons of textile waste ( 92 million tons ) end up in landfill each year while making clothing.

But have you ever wondered, what is the best solution to solve this problem?

What an individual can do on a personal level to reduce these impacts and help the fashion industry become sustainable and eco-friendly? Buying fewer clothes or maybe reusing them plenty of time can be eco-friendly yet not effective enough. With 1.7 million tons of CO2 emitted annually, accounting for 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, the textile industry is a major contributor to global warming. Even if we buy fewer clothes this won’t make any significant change in these statistics

So what are other eco-conscious alternatives we can switch to?
“Switching to Sustainable Fabrics.” Eco-friendly textiles like Hemp, Bamboo, Tencel, and Lyocell are the best replacement for synthetic fashion fabrics that are allegedly responsible for 35% of microplastic that enters the ocean according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Where else sustainable textiles like hemp, and bamboo are much better substitutes for polyester (synthetic fabric). In the last few years ‘Hemp’ has emerged as the most preferred choice of mindful consumers who are inclined towards contributing to sustainable living.

But before you choose any sustainable fabric, let’s first understand what sustainable fabric is.  And where it stands in the fashion industry.
Sustainable fabric is the textile or yarns produced by 100% plant-based material, such as Hemp fabric that comes from the stem of the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa), a cannabis species.

In the fashion industry, green fashion, or slow fashion has presented itself as a prominent conscious fashion trend that has escalated the sustainable textile image as a material of the future fashion industry.

Sustainable textiles like hemp are eco-friendly, biodegradable, have a low carbon footprint, and are also gentle on human skin making them perfect for everyday use.

According to statistics reported by India Times, the market is expected to rise to $9.81 billion in 2025 and $15.17 billion in 2030 at a CAGR of 9.1 percent, due to the growing awareness of ethical fashion in India.
Green fashion or Slow fashion is the clothing practice in which designers, fashion stars, and people related to fashion, textile, and designing fields use environmentally friendly textiles to create sustainable fashion.
Hemp Is a perfect sustainable choice.
There is a variety of green textiles that exist in the industry. Textiles made of bamboo, Tencel, and Lyocell among others.
Hemp stands out as an ideal, compatible clothing choice. Why?

Sustainable Fabric From Hemp
Reasons why Hemp is the perfect textile material underlay here:-

  • It is antibacterial.
  • Provides UV rays protection which is very rare in all other clothing fabrics.
  • Human skin is breathable, which means letting the passage for airflow keeps the skin cool relatively more than in any other textile.
  • Hemp fabric gets softer with time rather and most fabric tends to get harsher with every wash making Hemp more durable.
  •  It requires less pesticides and can grow in lands with water scarcity, this makes Hemp organically grown with minimum chemicals and also saves water.
  • Hemp can biodegrade in 6 months given the right environmental conditions, if not then 20 months.

Benefits of using Hemp

Compared to Tencel, Lyocell hemp can sustain under any environmental crisis. Using hemp not only is a good green choice for nature but also the most peerless fabric for long-time wearables, it takes care of the skin by keeping it protected from radiation.
Benefits of hemp fabric

Hemp is a high-yielding crop. With consumption of only 50% then what cotton needs it produces significantly larger patches of fabrics in comparison.

Hemp benefits nature with the quantity that it makes with minimalistic efforts and benefits consumers with the qualities it gives in hand for the long run, beside being antibacterial, durable, biodegradable, and breathable this green textile is well-synced to human skin needs, in turn, it also fights odor-causing bacteria.
Hemp fabric combats global warming by creating less carbon emission as the planting of hemp plants boosts carbon absorption from the environment and processing of hemp fabric is a low carbon footprint major that is regularly suggested for reducing global warming.

Hemp clothing in India.

In India, the market space of hemp production and consumption is growing frequently as it is still a new concept of fashion and clothing that will require some time for Indians to understand and adapt to.

To know more about these statistics click here. 

As per an article from the Indian Dream- website that shows business analysis The Global Industrial Hemp Market stood at ~$4.6 Billion in 2019. And on the other end hemp textile market size in India is less than $1 Million (~7 crores INR).

Even if the common Indian citizen is not that impressed with hemp fabric but on higher grounds hemp fabric has become the first choice of celebs, fashion models, and designers who promote sustainable living values.

Where to find Hemp clothing in India?

With the growing awareness for sustainable solutions, it absorbed several businesses coming up with green better choices for old-fashioned environmentally harmful products

Following is the list of brands that manufacture sustainable textiles and clothing

1) Weaving Vibes​

Weaving Vibes is a natural hemp fabric manufacturer that produces a variety of plant-based, biodegradable, vegan, and best-quality sustainable fabrics in India. It is a homegrown startup based in Mumbai. They provide Made-to-Order, Sustainable fabrics.
Founder of Weaving Vibes showcasing Hemp Fabrics

2) The Harra Label

As the name suggests ‘The Harra Label’ is an everyday apparel design brand that provides a range of men’s and women’s wear that is 100% made out of plant-based fabrics like hemp and bamboo.
The Harra Label Founder Showcasing their Fabrics

3) Leafaffa

Lefaffa is an ethical fashion designing service that makes designer sustainable apparel that is handcrafted and customized. It is made in an India designing studio which again sources eco-friendly sustainable fabrics.

4) Doodlage:-

It is Delhi based sustainable slow fashion brand that revises its story on how they ethically produce zero waste, upcycled fashion retrace that is now becoming a new trend all over the globe.

Founder of Doodlage Sanjana Ganesan showcasing the sustainable fabrics

Conclusion

Overall sustainable fabrics like Hemp, Bamboo, linen, and more like that are the eco-friendly green solution to the everyday problems that plague us by polluting nature.

The sustainable textile and fashion industry plays an important role in improving and solving environmental problems that are deteriorating day by day.

As a part of society, we all must support and celebrate this sustainable solution in every field.

From textiles to footwear new brands and services provide eco-friendly replacements for other outdated synthetic products that do more harm than it does helping to the planet.

Being conscious consumers/customers we are obligated to finally adapt and accept these solutions.

Explore to read more: How Linen Is Losing In This Race For Sustainable Fabric.

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