A Sustainable Approach to Sourcing Fabric from China

Fashion industry is a big player when it comes to global warming with the significant amount of energy it consumes and gas emits each year. Many fashion brands have come to realize that and started to take a more ethical approach. One of the simple ways to tackle the problem from the beginning is to source ethical fabrics for sustainable fashion production in China.

Choosing the right, eco-friendly fabric for your design can be tricky as most commonly used materials come with sustainability issues. If you’re sourcing ethical fabric from China for your next fashion collection production, here’re some sustainable alternatives to consider than using the conventional material.

Cotton

Most of convention cotton widely used in fashion production relies heavily on flood irrigation, and often times chemicals, pesticides and fertilizers are used. Cotton farmers are also deplored due to unfair trade practice.

Sustainable alternatives for cotton

* Organic cotton

* Cotton in original colors

* Fair trade cotton

Polyester

Polyester plays a big part in fashion production as it’s used in 65% of global clothing manufacturing. The greatest downfall about polyester and other synthetic materials is they’re extracted from petrochemicals, worse, they produce detrimental microfibers.

Sustainable alternatives for polyester:

* Fibers produced from recycled plastic

* Bio-based yarns made from methane and castor oil

Wool

There’re lots of concerns about commonly used wool fabric regarding the land use, water consumption, animal welfare, etc.

Sustainable options for wool:

* Wool that is made in an energy saving way, in ethical farms that take care of the sheep

* Vegan wool

Leather

The same with wool, there has been increasing concerns about welfare of cows, and workers working in hazardous conditions of a tannery, environment problems, etc.

Sustainable options for leather:

* Leather from ethical tannery

* Leather that is grown in a lab

* Vegetable tanning

Silk

Billions of silk worms have been killed each year for silk production that requires a significant amount of energy from fiber extraction to weaving.

Sustainable alternatives for silk:

* Peace silk

* Organic production

Viscose

70 millions of trees have been logged each year for viscose production, and it contributes the most to greenhouse emissions than any other fabrics.

Sustainable options for viscose:

* Ethical lyocell produced from eucalyptus

* Yarns from recycled materials

Stretch

There’re two major downfalls of stretch materials, one’s global warming caused by the use of fossil fuels and the other is it’s hard to degrade or recycle since it’s usually blended with other fibers.

Sustainable options for stretch:

* Yarns produced from organic fibers and recycled polyester

* Fabric made from recycled plastic

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