Look for these sustainable textiles on the label of your upholstered decor.

By Jessica Bennett
April 22, 2020
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Think about all the items made of fabric in your home: throw pillows, sofas, rugs, towels, sheets, not to mention all the clothes in your closet. How these textiles are produced and disposed of later impacts the environment. In 2017 alone, the U.S. produced nearly 17 million tons of textiles, of which over 66% ended up in landfills, . Perhaps that's why more shoppers want to decorate with natural fabrics, according to a . Searches for "organic bedding" have increased 36% in the past six months, compared to the same time frame last year. Hemp items and cactus silk pieces in the home and living category have also risen by 14% and 12%, respectively. Check our guide to incorporate more eco-conscious fabrics into your home.

Stacey Brandford Photography Inc

What Makes a Fabric "Eco-Friendly"?

f2富二代短视频appIn general, eco-conscious fabrics are made from natural materials and produced using sustainable practices. This means they're typically not treated with potentially harmful or irritating chemicals, such as synthetic fabric dyes or other chemical finishes. More specifically, textiles classified as "organic" are made from plant materials grown without the use of pesticides and other chemicals. Fabric can be called organic if 95% of the material contains organic textiles.

Related: Vegan Design Applies the Plant-Based Lifestyle to Your Entire Home

Typically made of plant materials, eco-friendly fabrics biodegrade naturally over time when placed in landfills. On the other hand, synthetic fibers (some of which are made from plastics) usually take much longer to break down and can release chemicals into the environment as they biodegrade. Many eco-conscious textiles are also naturally anti-bacterial and hypoallergenic, so they're safer and healthier to have in your home.

Types of Eco-Friendly Fabrics

To shop for textile goods more sustainably, pay attention to what items are made of and how they're produced. Before purchasing a fabric item, including home goods and clothing, check the label to determine its material. For the most eco-friendly option, look for the following natural fabric types.

Bamboo

This fabric is spun from the pulp of bamboo plants, a fast-growing grass that requires no fertilizer or replanting. Bamboo fabric can be used as a more sustainable substitute for cotton, which is often heavily treated with pesticides and requires a substantial amount of water to grow. Breathable, moisture-wicking, and stretchable, this fabric is often found in clothing and household items, including and .

Hemp

Made from the stalks of cannabis plants, hemp fabric is lightweight but extremely durable. Similar in feel to canvas, it resists shrinkage or pilling and stands up well after many washes, making it ideal for clothing. This textile is also highly resistant to mold and mildewf2富二代短视频app, and you can find items such as and at many home furnishings retailers.

Lyocell

f2富二代短视频appLyocell, also known under its , is made from wood pulp cellulose from trees including eucalyptus, birch, and oak. The fabric has a smooth, soft surface that's highly elastic and durable. With its moisture-wicking properties, lyocell is great for clothing and household linens like and .

Linen

Woven with fibers from the flax plant, linen is soft, strong, and highly breathable. Because it absorbs moisture and dries quickly, the textile is naturally anti-bacterial. Linen is used for a wide variety of household items, including and .

Other Plant-Based Fabrics

Some eco-friendly fabrics are made from more unusual materials, such as cacti or pineapple leaves. Although these textiles are not yet widely available, you can find specialty items like or from retailers like Etsy.

We can all help reduce our environmental impact by making small daily changes, and outfitting our homes with eco-conscious fabrics is one simple way to get started.

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