Thanks Barbara! I’ll start looking for tencel, bamboo and wild crafted silk – great option!
Here, is a general rundown of the environmental impacts of fabrics compared – of cotton, wool, synthesized polyesters/nylons, plant based cellulosic manufactured fabrics, e.g. rayon, acetate, bamboo.
Natural fibers use the most land; synthetics use the least.
Cotton and silk use the most water, synthetics, hemp and linen (flax) use the least.
Synthetics use the most energy; hemp and linen use the least.
Synthetics produce the most greenhouse gases (carbon use), natural fibers produce the least.
Cellulose/viscose based materials are both natural and synthesized – Rayon, acetate, lyocell/Tencel, bamboo. They are made from plant fibers “dissolved in a strong solvent to make a thick, viscous solution that is forced through a spinneret into a quenching solution where strands solidify into fiber.” Apparently Tencel, which is made from eucalyptus, is the only one of these fabrics that uses a non-polluting closed loop process in its manufacture. Environmentally it is better than organic cotton because eucalyptus grows quickly on land not suitable for agriculture.
In every category you can find more eco-friendly versions than most. Like organic cotton, but better in many ways are linen and hemp fabrics (except maybe for the ironing). Also available now is more eco friendly bamboo, “wild crafted” silk, wool from ethically raised and shorn sheep, polyesters made from recycled plastics.
Continued salutations to already owned clothing
Barbara Hirsch, eco-nut
Santa Barbara, California
“Unless someone like you cares a whole lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss