Sustainable Fabrics For The Planet

Sustainable Fabrics For The Planet

In today's world, sustainability is a top priority for many people, and it's not just limited to food and clothing. The beauty industry is also making strides towards sustainability. One way to contribute to this movement is to buy beauty items made from sustainable fabrics instead of synthetic ones.

There are several benefits to choosing sustainable fabric beauty items over synthetic ones.

Pictured: Our Eco Turtle Life Bamboo Exfoliation Mitt is a sustainable alternative to synthetic mitts.

What makes a fabric sustainable?

A sustainable fabric minimises its environmental impact, uses natural resources responsibly, and promotes social and economic sustainability throughout the supply chain.

  1. Renewable resources: such as bamboo, hemp, or organic cotton, are more sustainable because they can be replenished naturally without depleting finite resources.

  2. Low-impact production: manufacturing processes, such as closed-loop systems that recycle water and chemicals, or use natural dyes, have a smaller environmental footprint.

  3. Reduced chemical use: produced without harmful chemicals and pesticides, such as organic cotton, hemp, or linen, are better for the environment and the people involved in the production process.

  4. Biodegradable and recyclable: fabrics that can biodegrade or be recycled at the end of their useful life can reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills and the demand for new materials.

  5. Fair labour practices: such as fair wages and safe working conditions, support workers' livelihoods and promote social sustainability.

pile of unwanted fabrics

Pictured: In 2020-21, Australia generated 75.8 megatonnes (Mt) of total waste, including 14 Mt from households and local government, 32.8 Mt from the commercial and industrial sector and 29 Mt from construction and demolition. 75.8 Mt of waste is roughly the equivalent weight of 471 Sydney Opera Houses.

Landfill waste is a significant environmental issue in Australia, with more than 20 million tonnes of waste ending up in landfills yearly.

Switching to sustainable fabrics is one way to reduce landfill waste in Australia. Sustainable fabrics that can break down naturally and don't contribute to the growing waste problem that synthetic materials pose. 

Sustainable fabric beauty items can also be a better choice for people with sensitive skin, as natural fabrics are less likely to cause irritation or allergic reactions than synthetic materials. Choosing sustainable fabrics supports fair trade and ethical practices, which ensures that workers involved in the production process are treated fairly and have safe working conditions.

Here are our top sustainable fabrics:

1. Hemp

Hemp is mainly grown in China, the United States, and Canada. These countries are major industrial hemp producers responsible for most of the world's hemp supply.

It is a fast-growing and renewable crop that requires less water and pesticides than cotton. It has a robust and durable fibre can be used to make various products, like clothing, beauty items, paper, and building materials. Additionally, hemp helps to improve soil health and reduce carbon emissions, making it a more sustainable option than many other materials. Hemp is also an excellent crop for farmers as it requires less water, pesticides, and fertilisers than other crops.

2. Bamboo

Bamboo is predominantly grown and harvested in China, India, and Indonesia. These countries have the ideal climate and growing conditions for bamboo and are responsible for most of the world's bamboo supply.

A fast-growing, renewable crop that can grow up to 3 feet per day without the use of pesticides or fertilisers. It also has a robust and durable fibre that can be used to make various products, like clothing, beauty items, furniture, paper, skincare (silica) and more. Bamboo helps to absorb more carbon dioxide from the air than other plants, making it an excellent option for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Choosing bamboo over traditional materials like cotton or synthetic fibres can also reduce the water and land resources required for production.

rattan plant

Pictured: Rattan, also spelt ratan, is the name for roughly 600 species of Old World climbing palms belonging to the subfamily Calamoideae.

3. Rattan

Rattan is a natural material that comes from climbing palm plants' stems and is commonly used to make furniture, baskets, and other household items. It is sourced from countries in Southeast Asia, such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, where it grows abundantly in tropical forests. These countries are known for their high-quality rattan products and have a long history of using rattan in traditional craftsmanship. In recent years, rattan has also gained popularity in Western markets as a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to synthetic materials.

Choosing rattan over synthetic materials also reduces the demand for petroleum-based products and promotes a more circular economy. Rattan is biodegradable and can be recycled, reducing waste and pollution. The production of rattan items often involves traditional craftsmanship, supporting local communities and preserving cultural heritage. 

4. Canvas

Canvas is a fabric type made from various materials, such as cotton, hemp, or linen. Cotton canvas production is mainly centred in countries like India, China, and Pakistan, while linen canvas is often produced in countries like Belgium, France, and Italy.

It is more sustainable than synthetic materials because it is biodegradable and doesn't release microplastics during washing. Canvas can be recycled and repurposed, reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills. Choosing canvas over synthetic materials can also reduce the demand for petroleum-based products and promote a more circular economy.

5. Linen

Linen is produced in countries like Belgium, France, and Italy. These countries have a long history of linen production and are known for their high-quality linen fabrics. Other countries that produce linen include Ireland, the Netherlands, and China.

Linen is a natural, biodegradable, and renewable fabric requiring minimal water and pesticides. It is durable and long-lasting, reducing the need for frequent replacements. Its production supports small-scale farmers and local economies in regions such as Europe, where it has been grown for centuries. Choosing linen over synthetic materials also helps to reduce the amount of microplastics released into the environment during the washing process, making it a more environmentally friendly choice.

linen farming

Pictured: Haarlem (Netherlands) was a major centre for linen production in the first half of the 17th century, with experienced linen weavers from southern Netherlands migrating there during the Dutch Revolt

In conclusion, buying sustainable fabric beauty items or even home and clothing items instead of synthetic ones is a great way to promote sustainability, especially in your beauty routine. By making this choice, you can reduce your environmental impact, support fair trade and ethical practices, and improve the health of your skin.

We can all do our part to reduce landfill waste in Australia and globally to protect our environment for future generations.

So, next time you're shopping for beauty items, consider making a sustainable choice and choose products made from sustainable fabrics.

As always, much love:

Tam x


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