How to Spot Environmentally Friendly Fabrics When Shopping

How to Spot Environmentally Friendly Fabrics When Shopping

You must know which fabrics are best for the environment to make more ethical fashion choices. Thankfully, there are some easy ways to spot them when shopping.

The most important thing is to avoid buying synthetic fabrics. These are harmful to the environment and can cause skin irritations. They can also pollute waterways with microplastics.


You’ll need to know what to look for to find environmentally and socially sustainable clothes. One of the most common ways to spot eco-friendly fabrics is to look for the GOTS certification or Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).

A GOTS-certified fabric has been made using organic fibers, so you can trust that the production was done in a way that protects the environment. This type of textile is also easier to wash and maintain, so your clothing will last longer than non-organic fabric.

Another way to spot organic fabrics is by looking at the manufacturing process. If a company commits to environmentally friendly practices and fair treatment for their workers, they will be transparent about the fabrics they use.

Organic cotton is an excellent example of this. Cotton that is grown organically doesn’t use pesticides or chemicals, so it’s much more environmentally friendly than conventional cotton.

The manufacturing process for organic fabric is even more environmentally friendly. Organic cotton is not bleached with chlorine and dyed with low-impact, eco-friendly dyes.

Choosing organic fabrics is essential because it protects the environment and is better for your health. However, organic materials cost more than non-organic ones, so you must compare prices when shopping for your next piece of eco-friendly apparel.


Recycled fabrics are a great way to keep clothes out of landfills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Recycled fabrics can come in various materials, including cotton, organic cotton, and polyester.

One of the best ways to spot environmentally friendly fabrics is to look for brands that use recycled material in their products. Some examples include Repreve, which uses discarded plastic bottles to make recycled polyester, and Aquifil, which creates Econyl from discarded fishing nets and carpets.

Recycling your old fabrics can help the fashion industry shift to a more circular model and decrease the amount of waste. However, it’s essential to ensure your materials are in good condition before submitting them to be recycled.

In addition to being clean and dry, your fabrics should also be free of food waste or other grime. This could clog up the machinery and render your batch of recycled materials useless.

To avoid this, check with your local recycling program to find out what textiles can be put in the bin and how to donate your old clothes. You can also look for companies that offer sustainable and recycled clothing options online.

Many brands are now using recycled fabrics to offset the impact of their manufacturing processes. Recycled materials use up to half as much energy as virgin ones and cut back on greenhouse gas emissions. They also don’t release microplastics into the environment, reducing pollution and water use.

Fair Trade

When shopping for fabrics, choosing ones that are good for the environment and the people who make them is crucial. These will be made using fewer chemicals, decompose naturally at the end of their life cycle, and not contain harmful toxins that may damage our health.

Fortunately, spotting ethically produced fabrics when you shop for your clothes is easy. These are usually labeled as Fair Trade or have the Fairtrade logo and will be certified by a credible third party.

The Fairtrade standards are designed to protect small-scale producers and workers and include social, economic and environmental criteria. They are backed by independent certifiers, who audit and certify companies that produce Fairtrade goods.

They also work with brands and organizations to ensure they meet fair trade standards throughout their supply chains. When shopping online, you can check for this on product tags or product descriptions.

Another thing to look for when choosing a fabric is whether or not it’s organic. This is especially important for those who avoid chemical-based fabrics such as cotton and wool.

Fast fashion and exploiting poor workers are significant concerns in the global textile industry. If you want to help improve conditions for garment workers, consider buying clothing made with Fair Trade fabrics. This means they can make a decent living, stand up for their rights, get a good night’s sleep, and enjoy a safe working environment.


If you’re a conscious consumer, chances are you’re aware of the environmental issues associated with the textile industry. The industry produces huge amounts of waste, and the equivalent of a garbage truck’s worth of textiles goes to landfill every second in the United States alone.

The best biodegradable fabrics are made from natural materials that break down quickly and naturally without releasing harmful chemicals into the environment. This means they reduce the amount of non-biodegradable waste in landfills.

The most common natural biodegradable fabrics include organic cotton, bamboo, hemp, linen, and silk. These materials can break down and decompose within a few years if not treated with chemicals.

Aside from natural fibers, there are also a few synthetic fabrics that are also biodegradable. The most popular synthetic material is polyester, which can take hundreds of years to break down in the environment if it’s not recycled.

Another synthetic fabric that is also biodegradable is rPET, which is made from recycled plastic bottles. This polyester type is better for the environment than its petroleum-based counterpart but still takes years to break down.

Several designer brands have started making biodegradable fabrics, like textiles using alga-based fibers. This could be a great way to get eco-friendly clothing into mass production, but it still has significant challenges ahead.


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