Sustainable, organic and recycled are all healthier options for our environment than standard synthetic materials. In the apparel industry, we most frequently use these terms when discussing the fabric or garments we will be decorating, however, they can also refer to practices, processes, and other materials used in the company.
ORGANIC: Material made from natural fibers, free of chemicals and/or pesticides. Organic agriculture practices cannot ensure that products are completely free of residues; however, methods are used to minimize pollution from air, soil and water.
SUSTAINABLE: Material that is completely biodegradable, returning to and nourishing the earth.
RECYCLED: Created using waste, discarded materials, or excess. Using recycled material applies to the practice of sustainability in that the product doesn’t return to the earth at all, but is instead put back to use creating zero waste.
FABRICS YOU SHOULD KNOW!
ORGANIC COTTON: To be accredited as organic, cotton farmers must adhere to strict guidelines prohibiting pesticides and chemical fertilizers. If all the cotton in the world were grown organically, the use of insecticides could be reduced by 25 percent!
BAMBOO: Fast-growing bamboo is a favorite because it regenerates rapidly without the use of pesticides. Material made from bamboo fiber is soft to the touch and naturally anti-bacterial.
SOY: Soy fabrics re-use a byproduct of soy products (i.e. soy milk, soybean oil, tofu, etc) to create a material with a look and feel similar to silk.
HEMP: A pound of hemp fiber uses a fraction of the water needed to grow a pound of cotton and doesn’t require pesticides. The hemp plant is harvested for its fibers, seed, seed meal and seed oil and can be spun and woven in a fine, crisp, linen-like fabric.