Natural vs Synthetic Fibers

OK- I'll admit it, I don't know much about fabric. I know where cotton, silk, and wool come from- but beyond that I'm pretty limited. If I want to be sustainable and have greater control over my wardrobe purchases I've got to know about fabrics. So I'm learning and sharing!

One of my favorite winter sweaters, made from natural fiber cashmere

For me, fabrics were one of the first things that I wanted to know about when starting my sustainable fashion quest. Knowing what fabrics are made of and how they are made is key when making good choices. Our goal should be to choose fabrics that have the least amount of pollution during production, the least amount of waste, and are biodegradable.

So, let's chat fabric fibers! Natural fibers come from plants and animals. They are naturally occurring and biodegradable. Synthetic Fibers are made in a lab. Depending on their chemical composure they may not be biodegradable. I've listed the most common synthetic fibers on the graphic below. These are all not biodegradable and you really should just avoid buying them.

When dealing with natural fibers, it's is best to look for organic cotton and animal friendly production of wool and silk. Organic cotton uses much less water in production, and of course chemical fertilizer. Other less common natural fibers are cashmere and bamboo.

Next week I'll share a post on organic vs non-organic cotton. We'll learn the differences and why organic is better. Subscribe to the blog or follow me on instagram so you won't miss a post!