Buying eco textiles for your eco home not only says something about your green views, but can also help pressure the textile industry to be more environmentally friendly.
The textile industry is the world’s number one industrial water polluter. It uses millions of gallons of water to dissolve chemicals, dyes and detergents, which are then poured into the local water system where they can damage plant life, wildlife and seep into the groundwater.
Consequently, textile manufacturers are now being pressured to adopt more environmentally friendly manufacturing practices, such as being more energy efficient and recycling water. A lot of this pressure is being applied by the clothing industry, because eco textiles are becoming more popular all the time, both for use in fashion and in eco homes.
The growing popularity of eco textiles in fashion
The fashion industry has a bad reputation for designing throw away clothes at the lowest cost to producers, whilst at a high cost to the environment. But now the trend towards sustainability is influencing the clothes people buy on the high street.
Now trendy labels, top designers and catwalk models all want to be associated with a more sustainable way of manufacturing textiles. This means a greater availability of eco textiles for your eco home.
Ethical fashion encompasses reducing child labour, improving wages for workers in third world countries and making textiles from sustainable materials.
Eco textiles are more sustainable
Synthetic textiles, such as polyester, acrylic and nylon, are all made from petroleum, which is very energy intensive and polluting to manufacture. However, there are greener materials available though for use in your eco house.
Eco textiles are made from natural materials. This includes animal wool and plant fibres, such as organic cotton, hemp, jute, bamboo or linen. Eco textiles can be harvested over and over again and are more energy efficient to produce than synthetics.
Cotton, for example, is the most widely grown textile material in the world, but is also the most chemically intensive to harvest. It’s estimated that cotton crops use a quarter of the world’s insecticides and 10% of its pesticides.
But organic cotton is far more environmentally friendly. The greener harvesting methods used to grow organic cotton means it’s free of toxic chemical fertilizer and pesticides.
So when buying textiles materials for your eco home, make sure they’re eco textiles. This will help keep pressure on the textile industry to be more environmentally friendly in how it operates.