Sustainable textiles, benefits and types


The use of sustainable textiles to help the planet is in our hands

What are sustainable textiles?

The textile industry is one of the sectors that uses the most natural resources, chemicals and energy and is the second most polluting industry. Clothing is made from different textile fibres, which can be of natural, synthetic or semi-synthetic origin. Those of synthetic origin represent 60% of total clothing production, and many are made from by-products such as petroleum (polyester, nylon are the most commonly used). On the other hand, the use of semi-synthetic fibres represents only 6% of the total, and is based on materials of natural origin. Production with natural fibres represents 5%. Sustainable fabrics are those that can achieve the sustainable development goals, which are set out in international agreements, such as those of the Paris Agreement and the European agenda to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. Therefore, they are those of natural origin, which do not use any chemical components that can harm the environment.

Sustainable Textiles

How many types of sustainable textiles are there?

There are many sustainable textiles, but the following are the most prominent.
  • Organic cotton: It is grown on land where the use of pesticides, herbicides and other toxic chemicals is prohibited. Only natural fertilisers are allowed and soil and water quality is controlled.
  • Recycled cotton: this type of cotton can be generated from two primary sources, post-industrial and post-consumer. It is the most sustainable fabric of all, and also, as its name suggests, collaborates in the recycling of fabrics, maintaining the same qualities as organic cotton.
  • Ecological wool: it is free of harmful substances, i.e. no chemicals are used in its production. It has a lot of elasticity, it does not break when stretched. In addition, it does not wrinkle or deform. Its fibres are soft, allow the body to breathe and protect from moisture.
  • Bamboocreated from bamboo pulp and bleached without using chlorine. It uses very little water compared to other types of fabric. This type of fabric is breathable, soft and absorbent. It also has antibacterial properties, which makes it a great success for people with sensitive skin.
  • Hemp: It is produced from the stem of the Cannabis plant. It produces a soft and delicate fabric. This fabric has a great characteristic, and that is that it has the insulating power that allows you to be sheltered in winter and cool in summer.
  • Recycled synthetics: Recycled polyester, cotton or nylon are good choices. They prevent plastic and clothing from going to landfills and require less energy to produce. However, recycled polyester and nylon still release microplastics, so try to go for natural fabrics whenever possible.