You surely know, the raw materials and textile fibers play a huge role in respecting the environment and the protection of our health. Dressing responsible is to wonder about the composition of our clothes and decipher their labels.
The raw materials found in fast fashion brands, such as synthetic materials, are often polluting and use chemicals and heavy metals.
At Little Dudes, the selection of our partner brands requires the analysis of the raw materials they use. Today on the blog: focus on materials to favor for more ethical consumption.
1. Vegetable materials
Vegetable materials are those that have the lowest environmental impact. They come from renewable resources, they are biodegradable, hypoallergenic, breathable, soft and comfortable. We find there:
- Hemp: The Queen of natural materials is her! Organic or conventional agriculture, this plant does not pollute neither during her culture, nor during its transformation into fabric, it does not require insecticide, little energy and little water. Respectful of the floors, it can be cultivated for several years in the same place, without exhausting them. Special mention for sensitive skin: Hemp is biodegradable, resistant and does not irritate the skin.
- Linen: the perfect material for hot summer days! Particularly resistant, it is actually a herbaceous plant. Biodegradable and easily recyclable, linen requires little energy, little fertilizer and it can push in poor soil. Opt for linen made in Europe to promote European local and know-how.
- Natural rubber is made from the flowing latex from the hevéa tree. Renewable resource, easily recyclable and biodegradable, it is often used for shoes, as shock resistant and heat. Cultivated in a sustainable way, it has a real beneficial impact on the environment. According to WWF, it allows to recreate eco-systemic services and to trap carbon, the top for the planet!
Cotton is the most produced natural plant material in the world, especially in the textile industry. It can be cultivated according to conventional or organic agriculture, which determines its environmental and ethical impact. To give you an idea, to cultivate 1 conventional cotton t-shirt, 2500 liters of water are necessary. Organic cotton requires up to 70% less water. We let you guess what type of cotton it is better to choose ...
In addition, it does not harm the surrounding ecosystems and is not toxic for people who cultivate it because no GMOs, pesticides, insecticides or fertilizers is tolerated in organic farming. The GOTS label is the expert. If you can see it on a label, it guarantees at least 95% of certified organic fibers.
How to identify a biological material? Labels can help you! They give you information on environmental requirements or social conditions in which the product has been carried out. But in reality, investing in such certifications represents large sums of money. The labeling often remains inaccessible for certain small creators and independent brands because it is too expensive and requires a long procedure.
Labels or not, Little Dudes has selected its partners according to specific criteria in connection with our values and beliefs. See you by here To discover our guide on labels.
2. Recycled materials
The principle: use already existing raw materials to give them a second life and make them eco-responsible clothes.
The process of recycling a raw material requires much less water than the creation of a new textiles. Good news for our planet!
How it works ? We grind the fabric to bring it back to the condition of fibers, from which it is possible to transform it into wires and create new products.
What are the materials that can be recycled? Not all subjects lend themselves to it but here is an overview:
- The recycled polyester, or the RPET, the main advantage of which is to prevent plastic from finishing in the oceans. It is obtained by melting the plastic existing in the polyester, it therefore gives a second life to a non -biodegradable material!
- Recycled nylon is the eco-responsible alternative to nylon, synthetic chemical material.
- Recycled cotton helps avoid wasting natural resources.
- Recycled wool is the perfect example of eco-responsible and zero waste material. We always have wool but we have not issued any new source of CO2 emissions, because we did not need additional farm!
- 100% recyclable fiber Noosa : Noosa is the first infinite recyclable fiber, without being deteriorated. It is made from corn (Yummy!). Developed by a Belgian startup, the noosa fiber is biodegradable and non -toxic for humans, preserving biodiversity and oceans. Go Belgium!
3. Upcycled materials
To go further, we can even tell you about the upcycled materials. Close to recycling, the upcycling is only interested in existing materials intended to be thrown. We could perfectly sum up the upcycling by this well -known sentence: "nothing is created, nothing is lost, everything is transformed".
Here we focus on fabric falls or the ends of workshop rollers, we are not going to transform them but recover them to prevent them from ending in the trash.
What could be more durable than making on the basis of what already exists? Our partner Longivethequeen is master in the matter. Their mission: to reduce the ecological footprint left behind using upcycled materials.
4. Semi-synthetic materials
Semi-synthetic materials are all from natural raw materials. Among them, the star is Lyocell.
This material comes from a new generation of viscose production which offers an ecological and sustainable solution compared to traditional viscose. Requiring 5 times less water than cotton, this biodegradable and 99% recyclable fiber becomes more and more popular. It uses an ecological manufacturing process.
Have you ever heard of Tencel? Lyocell's registered trademark by the Lenzing company in Austria, it comes from eucalyptus trees, which grow quickly without the use of pesticides, fertilizers or irrigation. Its manufacturing process recycles almost entirely (99.8% to be precise) the solvent used for transformation, and the generated fabric does not contain toxic products. Result: very resistant and fine fabrics, a bit like silk. So soft!
5. Animal materials
Is it possible to combine eco-responsible convictions and dress with animal materials? The answer is yes ! To be nuanced anyway ... The principle is to ensure respect for animals and to be attentive to certain certifications.
- The certified wool “No Mulesing”: natural wool, eco-responsible and which takes into account animal welfare, it's yes! The No Mulesing label defends an ethical approach for animals. No cruelty, no abuse. The wool is thermo-regulator, anti-corners, anti-bacterial, biodegradable and hyper durable because the clothes designed from wool have a very long lifespan.
- More and more brands meet their habits and produce vegan leather. But what exactly is it? Difficult to navigate between “false leather”, “imitation leather”, “vegetable tanning” ... for the first two terms it is the door open to plastic (thank you no thanks!), For the last, he s 'Acts well animal leather but based on plant products much less toxic to the environment than ordinary tanning. Vegan leather is identifiable using a "PETA-APPROVED vegan" logo meaning that the brand in question is well vegan. Then look at the composition: if you see "polyurethane" or "synthetic fiber", it is not biodegradable material, but plastic.
- We finish this article with that which is called "the queen of fabrics": silk. It is a material that is both vegetable and animal, biodegradable. It is made by the silkworm, the bombyx caterpillar. It can be produced conventional or organic. The second option encourages a sustainable approach, operated by “Peace Silk” in particular. This process defends animal rights, by promoting a non -violent method of silk harvest, while letting silkworms live.
And you ? What are your favorite sustainable materials?
Adopting an eco-responsible lifestyle therefore also involves the choice and knowledge of the components of your clothes. At Little Dudes, we build a more sustainable world with the help of our partner brands. Consume less but better by taking a look at our eshop!