While more of a focus has been put on where are food comes from in recent times, where our materials come from seems to have been ignored. We use materials for a range of different products such as furniture and clothing. Many of the materials that we use can be harmful to both the environment and animals. That is why we as a society should try to use these eco-friendly materials more:
· Recycled Materials
Using recycled products is one of the most sustainable ways of living. It can be done in numerous ways – from reusing our shopping bags all the way through to recycling bottles and cans. Another way it can be done is through reusing materials. There have been several high profile cases in recent times of this happening – such as Pharrell creating a clothing line from recycled ocean waste. Get down to your local charity shop and reuse clothing and materials that have been loved in a previous life.
· Soy Silk & Cashmere
Regular silk and cashmere are harmful to both the environment and animals (animals are used in their production). However, soy silk and cashmere can offer the same results whilst being both eco and animal-friendly. Another benefit of soy clothing is that it can be machine washed and is wrinkle resistant.
· Eco-Friendly Materials: Hemp
If you had to describe hemp in one word it would be versatile. It can be used for building materials, cleaning products and is stronger than cotton. It also uses less pesticides and herbicides when grown on a large scale. More companies have turned to hemp products, such as Patagonia’s recent line of clothing.
· Organic Cotton
Organic cotton and regular cotton are different. While regular cotton will more than likely be filled with pesticides, organic cotton has none of these used in the production process. This means that it takes less of a toll on our planet. However, you need to be careful when buying organic cotton. Products that have been dyed can usually take away from their eco-friendly materials status. It is a much safer bet to buy organic cotton that is light brown, pale green or cream.
Linen is one of the most durable materials that there is. It can endure up to 20 years of wear, whilst staying both comfortable and flexible. The plant that is comes from doesn’t need much energy or water to be produced and leaves no waste behind.