Materials of the futureOrganicVegan

Where do our clothes come from?

Where do our clothes come from?
By Gaia Rattazzi

Our clothes have traveled a long way to get to retail stores and many of them actually begin their life in farms and forests. We’re often unaware of what we’re putting on our bodies, we rarely know where they come from and what they’re made of, so much so that we don’t often think of […]

Our clothes have traveled a long way to get to retail stores and many of them actually begin their life in farms and forests. We’re often unaware of what we’re putting on our bodies, we rarely know where they come from and what they’re made of, so much so that we don’t often think of nature and ecosystems when we think of garments, but that’s where everything starts.

Cellulosic fibres

Viscose, a cellulosic fibre often found in clothes to mimic the texture of silk, is a man made fibre that comes from wood pulp. To manufacture cellulosic fibres like viscose, modal and rayon, more than 150 million trees are chopped down every year with 30% coming from ancient and endangered forests. (Canopy) This might sound alarming but fear not, many brands started replacing their viscose with TENCEL™ which is sustainably sourced from forests and turned into fabric using a closed loop process which minimises waste and water consumption. The end product is also compostable! For more on Tencel, check out this article

Image: Beaumont Organic

Beaumont Organic, Raquel organic cotton & TENCEL shirt

Leather

Leather is another material that has substantial impacts on biodiversity. The livestock industry is the world’s number one user of land, from the grazing of animals to the cultivation of crops used to feed them, it is responsible for 80% of agricultural land worldwide and has played a significant role in deforestation. Leather production is also water intensive and uses a lot of chemicals, but again, things are changing! If you want to minimise your impact, buying second hand leather is my personal favourite option. Vegan leather alternatives are also a great cruelty free option and as they become more and more popular, they’re increasingly easier to find! Read all about vegan leather here!

Image: Womsh vegan boots (left), Womsh vegan sneakers (right)

View more products from WOMSH

Image: JW PEI (left), Alkeme Atelier (right)

View more vegan leather products on Renoon

Image: By Far (left), Sandro (right)

View more pre-owned on Renoon 

Cotton

Cotton also comes with some negative environmental impacts because large amounts of water and pesticides are needed to grow it, a better option in this case would be to switch to organic cotton. Organic cotton is made with zero chemicals so it’s better for the planet and for your skin too!

Image: Rotate Sunday capsule t-shirt (left), Pangaia organic cotton hoodie (right)
Image: MSGM organic cotton hoodie (left), Rotate organic cotton crop hoodie (right)

Discover more organic cotton products on Renoon 

The afterlife 

It’s important to note that the environmental impacts don’t stop there. When garments reach the end consumer and they are washed, microfibres are released from synthetic clothes, which contribute to microplastic pollution in oceans. To avoid this, steering clear of synthetics is always a good choice as well as washing less and using a guppy bag which traps microfibres.  Read more about it here

guppyfriend bag take care of clothes

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