Natural Fibers and why we love them.
It is important to know where your clothing comes from and what materials are used. If we are to survive as a thriving planet for years to come we must look at this important part we play in the future of our world.
Many of us pay little to no attention to the tags inside our clothing, when in fact these tags say a lot about the garments we wear. These tags include information about what fibers make up our clothing, which can not only be helpful when it comes to doing your laundry, but can also tell you a lot about the durability and quality of your clothing.
There are over a hundred textiles and fibers used within the fashion industry. Some fibers are more recognizable than others, as they are more frequently mentioned in the name of a product such as cotton, polyester, nylon, and wool; but there are several others that make up many of the pieces in your wardrobe. The two main categories of fibers are natural and synthetic. Natural fibers are made from plants and animals while synthetic fibers are man-made and manufactured using chemicals. Some examples of natural fibers include cotton, linen, wool, cashmere, hemp, and silk. The more commonly used synthetic fibers include nylon, polyester, acrylic, and spandex.
While there are benefits to both categories, natural fibers are better for the environment and are made from renewable, biodegradable materials. Natural fibers have a reduced environmental impact as they do not utilize as many chemicals in their production as synthetic fibers. They are produced by being spun into threads and yarn that are then woven into fabric and used to produce garments. Within the classification of fibers there are two subclassifications; animal-based such as silk and wool, or plan- based such as cotton or linen.
As well as being better for the environment, natural fibers tend to be more durable, which increases their product life. Plant-based fibers are the strongest due to the structure of their cellulose. An additional added benefit to natural fibers is they are better for people who have sensitive skin. These fibers have natural anti-bacterial qualities which aid in making them the ideal choice for anyone who has easily irritated skin.
The Phoenix carries many brands that primarily use natural fibers in their garments. Two popular brands featured in the store, Flax and Oh My Gauze!, make all their products from 100% natural fibers. Flax makes all their garments from 100% linen and are committed to producing sustainably made products. The company even uses 100% Corozo buttons which are made from the Corozo Palm. Oh My Gauze! uses 100% cotton in their products, which makes them durable, comfortable and breathable.
Two more brands worth mentioning are Amici by Baci and Saga. These two Italian based brands source all their materials directly from Italy, which is known for their organic natural fiber fabrics. Both brands use cotton, linen, and silk in their garments, which make for comfortable and chic pieces perfect for the humid and hot summer weather. Not only are these brands easier to take care of but their products are better for the environment.
There are several other brands featured in the Phoenix store that manufacture garments from natural and sustainable fibers including Elemente Clemente, CP Shades, Les Filles d’Ailleurs, Artists and Revolutionaries, and Uru to name a few. Many of these also use sustainable dyes.
Buy local, buy as much natural and sustainable as you can afford, and always buy what you LOVE.