by The Independant Curator

One of the most common questions people ask us when it comes to sustainable fashion is where can I find all the textiles and care information, resources, brands, certifications? What does it mean to shop ethical? How to identify sustainable and ethical brands? How do I extend the lifespan of my garments? Most people seem to have no idea where to start looking for answers.

We live in a world governed by big corporations, fast and cheap fashion and a world wide web that offers tones of informations, still it can be overwhelming and hard to process. 

At The Library, we are cataloging all resources related to Sustainable Literacy as part of our ongoing efforts to educate and inspire both the public and corporations.

Sustainable Fashion Podcasts

Want to learn more about ethical fashion? Podcasts are a really informative source of learning about the various aspects of ethical fashion and consumption to step up your game in the sustainability department. 

Fashion Revolution Podcast

Fashion Revolution Podcast explores the hidden stories behind the clothing we wear. Through interviews and investigations, Fashion Revolution explores the intersection of sustainability, ethics and transparency in the fashion industry. International fashion journalist Tamsin Blanchard speaks to researchers, supply chain experts, garment workers, politicians and activists. Each episode we will take listeners deep into fashion’s social and environmental problems but leave you with practical actions to help make a positive difference. 

Textiles Stories:

The Library focuses on textiles heritages and understanding to inspire customer and the industry to value provenance. 

Natural Fibers

 Plant Fibers:

  • Abaca -Once a favoured source of rope, abaca shows promise as an energy-saving replacement for glass fibres in automobiles
  • Coir -A coarse, short fibre extracted from the outer shell of coconuts, coir is found in ropes, mattresses, brushes, geotextiles and automobile seats
  • Cotton -Pure cellulose, cotton is the world's most widely used natural fibre and still the undisputed "king" of the global textiles industry
  • Flax -One of nature's strongest vegetable fibres, flax was also one of the first to be harvested, spun and woven into textiles
  • Hemp -Recent advances in the "cottonization" of hemp fibre could open the door to the high quality clothing market
  • Jute -The strong threads made from jute fibre are used worldwide in sackcloth - and help sustain the livelihoods of millions of small farmers
  • Ramie - Ramie fibre is white, with a silky lustre, and is one of the strongest natural fibres, similar to flax in absorbency and density
  • Sisal -Too coarse for clothing, sisal is replacing glass fibres in composite materials used to make cars and furniture

 Animal Fibers:

  • Alpaca wool -Alpaca is used to make high-end luxury fabrics, with world production estimated at around 5 000 tonnes a year
  • Angora wool -The silky white wool of the Angora rabbit is very fine and soft, and used in high quality knitwear
  • Camel hair -The best fibre is found on the Bactrian camels of Mongolia and Inner Mongolia, and baby camel hair is the finest and softest
  • Cashmere -Cashmere is exceptionally soft to the touch owing to the structure of its fibres and has great insulation properties without being bulky
  • Mohair -White, very fine and silky, mohair is noted for its softness, brightness and receptiveness to rich dyes
  • Silk -Developed in ancient China, where its use was reserved for royalty, silk remains the "queen of fabrics"
  • Wool - Limited supply and exceptional characteristics have made wool the world's premier textile fibre

Emerging Textiles

  • SeaCell™ and other seaweed textiles. SeaCell™ is an emerging fibre that is produced from seaweed. The textile is produced using the lyocell process- a closed loop process for turning cellulose fibers into a soft biodegradable textile. Seaweed is a renewable resource, and SeaCell™ sustainably harvest the seaweed from the Icelandic coast. Strict measures are in place to ensure that the natural seaweed crop can completely regenerate and rest before it is harvested again, and harvesting will only take place at 4 year intervals in each location.  As a niche product SeaCell™ is a sustainable option. But harvesting wild stocks of seaweed may not be a sustainable option for higher rates of demand. For this reason, some companies are exploring seaweed farming as an alternative to cotton and other textile crops. At- sea is a EU-based research pilot that is exploring commercial options for seaweed cultivation. Seaweed for textiles is one sustainable option to keep your eye on.   

Care Information:

Guidance on Design 

WRAP research shows that extending the life of clothes by nine extra months can reduce carbon, water and waste footprints by around 4-10% each. Retailers and brands can make a significant difference by making small changes to increase the durability of clothing during both the design and production process.

Filed under: fortheindustry forthepeople