Sustainable food, sustainable energy, sustainable housing. Slowly but surely sustainability is making its way into every aspect of our lives, but what about that sweater you’re wearing today? That hat? Those shoes? Scarf? Tie? Are they brand new from a factory in China, or are they made from one of the many sustainable fabric options we now have to offer?
You may have noticed more and more companies advertising their sustainable clothing made from recycled water bottles. What? They can do that? Yes, they can, and here’s how:
When I watched the video I thought two things: “wow, that’s impressive”, and “that cannot be sustainable.” A factory of that size must not only produce physical waste, but also carbon waste. Although I haven’t read anything that calls out the process of using recycled water bottles as unsustainable, I have read that those clothes release plastic fibers that can end up in our oceans, so I took it upon myself to find a few alternatives.
Organic Cotton: It’s organic, so no pesticides! It also tends to be free of dyes and bleaches.
Hemp: Easy to grow, resilient to pests, productive, and tried and tested! Don’t worry about its loose connection to marijuana, this plant cannot get you high.
Bamboo: Fast growing, naturally anti-bacterial, and few pesticides needed! It may not be a perfect option, but it’s still a better alternative to many of the fabrics we are using today.
There are even more options yet, and the technology is being developed to make them even more sustainable. Give these options a try, and see which one works best for you.
Toria is a student at Western Washington University studying English, Psychology, and Economics. She's never looked at what her clothing was made of before, but rest assured that she is paying attention now.