At IndoWeave, we too have a handful of achievable New Year resolutions. One of them being, making and promoting more environmentally friendly fabrics. We are driving our efforts towards developing a portfolio of sustainable fabrics for your beautiful homes and your wardrobe.
But first, let’s understand what really is sustainability and related jargon. Sustainability has many facets –ethical business practices/processes, use of renewable energy, water recycling at manufacturing units, use of less freshwater or recycled water in the manufacturing process, selection of raw materials, environment-friendly dyes and chemicals that do not pollute the water and land during the processing stage, supply chain ethics, and giving back to the community.
While there can be many ways how a business is conducted or a product can be made to reduce the impact on limited resources, it is important to note that many a time, raw materials used as primary or secondary inputs get overlooked.
Organic cotton, BCI cotton, organic linen, bamboo, hemp, hand woven and hand spun fabrics, khadi, natural dye fabrics are some of the buzzwords in the market when it comes to sustainable textiles.
Let us take you through the top four new-age fabrics for your home and wardrobe:
- Hemp and Cotton-hemp
Hemp is a wonder crop as it requires comparatively less water and no pesticides to grow and cultivate. It is gaining popularity in recent times as a replacement for linen. The properties of the fiber and fabrics made from hemp are similar to that of linen but it is more expensive than linen. Usually, a hand-spun and handwoven hemp is the course and makes a great yarn for home furnishings, especially rugs and mats. Natural look fabrics in brown and natural tones enhance the modern-chic vibe of your home.
Hemp blended with cotton woven in basics of plain, twill, or herringbone can add extra softness to your cushion covers, mats, and rugs. The charm of blending it with cotton is that it allows you to experiment with colorful print creations.
Hemp-based fabrics are already in the market for garments too. Just like white linen, having a white hemp shirt or dress can be a good addition to make your wardrobe eco-friendly.
- Organic Cotton
Many people get confused between organic cotton and the better initiative or the BCI cotton. Both are becoming widely popular among retail customers and thus changing new product development and marketing initiatives of companies. Simply put, organic cotton is grown without using any synthetic fertilizer or pesticides and largely is dependent on natural seasonal rain. BCI cotton is appropriate management and use of resources, including labor. If you are opting for either of these unconventional cotton types then be prepared to shell out a bit more. This cotton is an ideal choice for luxury bed linen and upholstery.
We are yet to see an uptake in the use of organic cotton in garments primarily due to price concerns. But we are sure it can make some space in your wardrobe just like other conventional cotton clothes but with far lesser environmental impact.
- Recycled polyester
Thanks to advancement in technology, now pet bottles can be recycled to make yarns and thus reduce use of virgin plastic to make polyester. We cannot ignore the use of polyester in textiles to make it look great and also balance out costs. Hence we highly recommend use of recycled polyester for homes to contribute towards a cleaner Earth.
In home furnishing space, recycled polyester has been a satisfying replacement of regular polyester, especially for sheer curtains. The properties are the same as conventional polyester and we have developed a good portfolio of dobby designs to enhance the visual appeal of white recycled polyester. The same application can be in apparel wear too and will certainly have a much wider usage and appreciation for retail customers if considered. Our top recommendation would be to use simple dobby designs in ethnic wear!
- Handspun & handwoven Fabrics
Handspun and handwoven fabrics as popularly known as khadi are sustainable because of the process. The use of traditional spinning and weaving techniques not only provides jobs and livelihoods but also reduces the impact on the environment due to slower and lesser production and no-power machines, thus saving energy. The input raw material can obviously be organic to make the process completely sustainable.
Many brands have made this very popular in garments including ethnic wear. Several local online shops are also promoting direct-from-weavers fabrics and garments.
In home textiles, it is a perfect fit for cushion covers, pillow covers, table and kitchen linen, and seat pouffes. Handcrafted with block prints in natural dyes adds a rustic vibe to the homes decorated in handspun and handwoven fabrics.
So what are you waiting for? The time is now to introduce environmentally friendly fabrics to your lives.