We know there's an image of sustainable fabrics as something worn only by the crunchy set and that they are only good for making ugly, earthy-colored burlap sack style clothing. In this day and age we're happy to say this is no longer the case. Here are the top five myths we've compiled about sustainably-made clothing and why they aren't true.
1. They have to be made from junk.
The first image that comes to mind for many people when they think about sustainable fashion is that it is always made from old shoes or fishing nets. While there are a lot of new fabrics out there of this type, some of which are great, others not so much, sustainability is also about giving a second life to fabrics made from any material that have been discarded by mills or brands. This could be anything from regular old cotton or wool or even synthetic fabrics, the point is that the resources have already been expended to create the fabric so it is better to find a use for it than to have it end up in a landfill.
2. They are only good for making uncomfortable, ugly clothing.
This may have actually been true at one point during the days of hemp t-shirts (don't sleep on hemp though). But nowadays the widespread availability of organic cotton, meriono wool, recycled polyester, and our favorite, Tencel, are some of the slickest, most technically advanced fabrics out there.The ability to blend fabrics together seamlessly by adding a bit of stretch or blending cotton and polyester to create a durable, breathable fabric has made it so that you can find comfortable, stylish fabrics that aren't as ruthless in their treatment of the environment and aren't made in sweatshops.
3. They don't have any performance qualities.
Nature is always thousands of years ahead of us. Whether its the breathability of cotton, the natural moisture-wicking qualities of wool or the natural moisture-wicking qualities of fabrics made from tree pulp, there is an abundance of options available to you. Humans have just gotten better at marshaling these resources and tweaking them as necessary to turn them into high-performing, versatile fabrics that can handle the most extreme environments.
4. They are too expensive.
While it is true that eco-fabrics are typically made from higher quality materials, produced on farms and factories where wages are higher, and thus you're not likely to find high-quality, sustainably-made goods at rock bottom prices, that doesn't mean that these products are unaffordable. Typically, buying fewer, longer lasting goods actually saves you money in the long run, and with lots of brands using a direct-to-consumer model that allows them to make great products affordable without the retail markup, you shouldn't have to break the bank to dress well in products that align with your values.
5. They're just the latest trendy way for companies to market their products
Unfortunately there are some brands out there who make a token effort to incorporate more sustainable fabrics into their product selection, but their hearts just aren't in it and they would rather just try and hook you on cheaply made, low cost products made under ambiguous circumstances. But make no mistake about it, the future of fashion lies in more sustainably-made fabrics, both from a quality, performance, and corporate responsibility perspective. By sticking with brands who have these principles at the core of their mission, you can be reassured that you're participating in this evolution of the fashion industry towards more versatile, sustainable products that are made the right way.
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