Profitable Sustainability: Fashion Alternatives for Eco-Conscious Businesses
The fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters in the world, generating 20%1 of wastewater and emitting 8–10% of global carbon emissions. And if the current trends continue, its emissions will rise by 60% by 20302. But there is hope: sustainable fashion is growing fast and is expected to reach $10 billion by 20253.
Sustainable fashion is an alternative to fast fashion. Fair wages for workers, organic, recycled materials, and a reduction in toxic chemicals are some sustainable fashion practices. These are good for both — the environment and your business.
Customers increasingly seek eco-friendly clothing alternatives that match their values and style. Sales of products marketed as sustainable will grow 5.6 times faster4 than those that are not. Does your business want to join this green movement? In this article, we’ve shared the top sustainable fashion alternatives you can adopt for your fashion business.
The Future of Fashion: Top 10 Sustainable Natural and Semi-Synthetic Fabrics
The eco-friendly clothing segment will grow by $1,574 million in global annual sales by 20255. Solving the issues associated with fast fashion could provide a $192 billion boost to the global economy by 20306.
Consider adopting the following sustainable fashion alternatives if you’re planning to join this bandwagon:
- Organic cotton: It’s cotton grown without synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, or genetically modified seeds. Organic cotton uses less water, emits less greenhouse gases than conventional cotton, and makes for comfier clothes.
- Recycled cotton: Cotton from pre- or post-consumer cotton waste, such as fabric scraps, discarded garments, or textile byproducts. Recycled cotton reduces the need for virgin cotton, saves water and energy, and prevents textile waste from ending in landfills.
- Hemp: A fast-growing plant that requires little water and no pesticides. Plus, it enriches the soil. Hemp fiber is durable, breathable, and antimicrobial, and its clothing can last long. The best part is that the clothes can be recycled and even composted.
- Linen: It is a natural fiber derived from the flax plant that requires minimal water and pesticides. The best part is that it is strong and biodegradable.
- Bamboo linen: It is a natural fiber made from the pulp of bamboo grass. This makes it eco-friendly and luxurious.
- Recycled synthetics: These are synthetic fibers from recycled materials, such as plastic bottles or fishing nets. These fabrics reduce the demand for virgin petroleum-based materials, save energy and water, and divert waste from landfills and oceans. Some examples of recycled synthetics are rPET (recycled polyester), ECONYL (recycled nylon), and REPREVE (recycled polyamide).
- Tencel: A branded name for lyocell, a semi-synthetic fiber from wood pulp sourced from sustainably managed forests. Tencel is produced using a closed-loop process that recycles water and solvents. Tencel clothing is gentle on the skin and the environment.
- Piñatex: A vegan leather alternative made from pineapple leaf fibers, a byproduct of the pineapple harvest. Piñatex is created using a low-impact process that does not involve toxic chemicals or animal cruelty. So, its clothing and accessories are ethical and innovative.
- Organic wool: Wool that comes from sheep raised organically, meaning they are fed organic feed, treated humanely, and not exposed to harmful chemicals or practices such as mulesing (a painful procedure that removes skin from the sheep’s rear to prevent flystrike). Organic wool is renewable, biodegradable, and naturally insulating.
- Apple leather: Leather created from the waste of the apple juice industry. These fabrics are biodegradable, durable, and even waterproof and used in high-end fashion products.
So, adopting sustainable fashion can help clothing businesses lower their carbon footprint. Not only would this create a positive change in the world, but also boost their bottom lines.