Environmentally Friendly Textiles
Environmentally friendly textiles are largely comprised of natural fibres such as organic cotton and bamboo fabric. Clothing made from these natural fibres is often much more comfortable to wear and has much less impact on the environment.
Linen is the thread made from the fibre of the flax plant. It is thought to be the first plant fibre used for making cloth. It may have a history of over three thousand years. Over the last hundred and fifty years or so, ‘linens’ have come to mean sheets and towels; made from not only linen but also cotton, and eventually from blends of nylon and other synthetic threads made of petroleum products.
More recently, so called linens are made of fibres from plants such as hemp and bamboo.
Cotton gained popularity over linen thread because it was more elastic and did not break as readily. Synthetic thread gained popularity over cotton because it was cheaper to produce.
In the last few years, people have become more aware of the need to choose environmentally friendly textiles for health and environmental reasons. There are a number of concerns. Many third world countries employ children in sweat shops in order to provide inexpensive clothing. There are often toxic chemicals released into the environment in the production of synthetic fibres and during the dying process for setting colour. Formaldehyde, for instance, is often used to keep fabric wrinkle-free.
Eco Friendly Cotton
Cotton is a natural fibre for making cloth. When it is organically grown, it is a much better alternative for the people growing it and working with it and eventually the people who wear it.
is a Canadian company that carries organically grown and fair trade cotton products. These products include, some childrens wear, towels and bedding. They also ship internationally.
The company Autonomie Project is an excellent U.S. source for organically grown cotton. Their products are all free trade ensuring that the people who made the products receive adequate payment. They also ship to Canada.
Unless cotton is organically grown there are many pesticides released into the environment. It may take several washings after you buy it to totally wash out all these pesticides from the cloth itself. As a result bamboo is gaining a great deal of acceptance. It is very fast growing and due to newer processing techniques is soft and durable. Hemp and bamboo are gaining prominence as environmentally friendly textiles.
For additional textile options see,
eco friendly digest.
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