BREATHABLE ECO-FABRICS FOR SUMMER DAYS
Can you believe Miami just experienced its hottest week on record? According to this Washington Post article we can blame air from the Sahara and climate change … shocking.
This doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy these warm summer days and friendly backyard soirees (with appropriate social distancing). There are many fabrics out there that are not only cool and breathable, but they are also eco-conscious and we are loving them. Let’s check them out:
Yes… hemp can also be used for fabrics. Brownie points for versatility. The texture of this fabric is soft, lightweight and durable at the same time making it a great choice when temperatures are high. This amazing plant is quite efficient and requires very little water to grow abundantly. Furthermore, it is more durable than cotton and it’s a natural pest-repellent.
TENCEL™ Lyocell and Modal fibers have many perks, starting with them being breathable and so very soft. There is also a super cooling effect which feels great.
These fibers are produced from sustainably sourced wood by environmentally responsible processes. The raw materials are natural, yet the process is technology-reliant putting TENCEL™ fabrics somewhere between natural and synthetic.
Linen is a fabric made from flax fibers. This plant has been cultivated basically worldwide and it has been useful for producing fiber for more than 6,000 years. One of the advantages of using linen as fabric is that it is three times stronger than cotton and it dries faster as well. Another advantage is that linen is a porous textile and has natural heat and that makes it a great conductor of heat which makes it ideal for the summer. We’d suggest you go for natural-toned linen vs. pure white or dyed linen if the brand doesn’t disclose on their bleaching or dying practices. One big plus, this textile is also antibacterial.
Using wool during the summer? How come? Well… Merino wool is a special wool produced by merino sheep. It produces a type of wool that is finer, lighter and softer than the regular wool. This material is recyclable and biodegradable. and controlled by the Responsible Wool Standard that makes sure that sheep are treated properly. Its texture is moisture-wicking and stretchy making it an excellent option for working out and moving. When buying merino wool, look for standards or certifications that ensure the sheep are treated properly and the environmental practices are sound, such as the Responsible Wool Standard, the ZQ Merino Standard and the Soil Association Organic Standards. Even better if you can find Climate Beneficial™ Wool.
Cotton it’s a classic for summer since it’s a breathable fabric… but we prefer using the eco-friendlier version which is organic cotton. There are many organic farmers that use different methods to return nutrients to the soil, increasing productivity in the long term. Additionally, organic cotton fiber tends to last longer than the ones of conventional cotton and can often be softer and more delicious.
Looking for your favorite new swim piece? ECONYL® uses nylon waste from landfills and oceans around the world and transforms it into regenerated nylon. It is also infinitely recyclable. This fiber is a product of Aquafil, a leader in the industry and a pioneer in quality, innovation and sustainability.
Recycled polyester (rPET)
Production of rPET diverts post-consumer plastic water bottles from landfills, using a lot less energy and about 90% less water than production of virgin polyester. No new petroleum is required to produce recycled polyester. Performance, durability and strength are great qualities of this material. It is even better to look for fabric that is certified such as REPREVE®, which has certifications confirming the amount of recycled content claims as well as the lack of harmful chemicals present. rPET is great for those running shorts or that versatile one-piece (styling tip: use it as bodysuit with your favorite ruffle skirt).