Vegan Alternative Fabrics

Firstly I would like to be honest, I am not vegan. Although I eat little meat, I do still eat it from time to time. This blog about Vegan Alternative Fabrics is written from the point of view that labelling something vegan, doesn’t mean it is good for the planet. The two statements are not mutually exclusive. In addition this is why I have chosen currently not to display “Vegan Friendly” logos. These types of logos are licenced and do have to be paid for. It seems to me like they are not always used appropriately.

With some products being based on materials such as acrylic they are vegan. Acrylic is a cheap, single use plastic which is an alternative to wool. It is definitely not environmentally friendly. I feel as though using vegan labels on acrylic products is greenwashing. The aim being to distract from the problem by highlighting an unrelated benefit. In my opinion the vegan label should be used on products made from sustainable alternatives to traditional fabrics that would be produced from, or using, animals. When listing items on my store, I will highlight whether something is vegan for clarification. Lastly, adhering to strict guidance around sustainability means most Grizzly Wears products are vegan friendly.

This list will probably expand over time and I will add to it as I discover new materials. To get off to a start, here are some of my top Vegan Alternative Fabrics…

Cotton

Lets get this out of the way. Fair Trade and Organic cotton is the best but cotton is fairly good anyway. Naturally growing as a fibre and requiring little processing makes this a top choice. Organic farming does make all the difference when it comes to true sustainability.

Tencel/Lyocell

This fabric is made from wood cellulose. It produces a soft, smooth fabric which can be used for a large number of applications. Tencel produced using closed-loop technology meaning chemicals and water are re-used and not released into the environment.

Hemp

Natural and biodegradable. Hemp is often blended with other fabrics and has no need for pesticides to grow. This makes it ideal for organic farming. It is breathable, cool and antibacterial.

Soybean fibre

Free from petrochemicals and entirely biodegradable. Having properties of Silk and Cashmere makes for a great, versatile fabric. it is commonly used as an alternative to wool.

Linen

Requiring no chemicals at all this is absolutely a good choice. Linen is durable and gentle on the skin.

Pineapple Leather

Alternative to real or vegan leather. This is a great innovation made from left over pineapple farming waste. Furthermore, no PVC is involved, making it sustainable and better for the planet.

Woocoa

An innovative material created from coconut, hemp and oyster mushrooms. Not widely commercialised but an important development. Woocoa is a wool like fibre.

Bamboo

If you’ve read any of my other blogs this is probably no surprise. Bamboo can give some fantastic properties. Try to stay clear of Rayon which is the most chemical intensive form. Bamboo is softer than silk but stronger than steel.

Recycled Polyester and Nylon

Also probably no surprise to readers of my other articles. This diverts waste from landfill and uses significantly less energy to produce than virgin fabrics. Lastly, Nylon and Polyester can be recycled again, creating a closed loop eco system.

Vegan Alternative Fabrics in Summary…

To conclude, there are many great vegan alternative fabrics either available now, or in development. Over the coming years we will definitely rely more on these. Great innovations will come to the market. Importantly we will see less reliance on plastics. Transitioning to more eco friendly vegan fabrics is a great thing. As a brand, Grizzly Wears will be testing some of these fabrics to put into clothing. Furthermore, as a consumer you can look for some of these fabrics. Increased demand means production will have to catch up. Lastly please be wary of greenwashing. Greenwashing hides problems and does not move the industry in the right direction.

Thank you for reading and I hope this was of some use. Likewise if I have raised a little awareness this was worth the time to create. Above all I like to highlight there are people working hard to make a difference and be innovative.

Finally, if you find my blog useful, support me on my quest by buying a T-Shirt or checking out my products.

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