You’ve picked out a few favorite green home decor brands and switched out some light fixtures with skylights as part of your move towards sustainable living. You may have even started investing in energy-efficient appliances that bear the EPA’s Energy Star label. However, you might still have non-biodegradable synthetics lying around your house in the form of your sheets, curtains, and upholstery!
Fortunately, there are now several materials that you can choose from to complete your sustainable home. Check out these 7 sustainable textiles and see which ones you’d like to start using!
7 Sustainable Textiles for Your Home
This sustainable textile comes from the stem of the flax plant, which grows on rough terrain that’s unsuitable for food production. Curtains made of linen can allow light into a room. Meanwhile, linen bed sheets tend to become softer and more absorbent after repeated washes. You’ll only really need to clean this low-maintenance textile when it starts to smell dusty.
Look for linen in natural colors ranging from ivory to tan to gray. Pure white linen has gone through intense bleaching–not very sustainable!
Cotton in general is durable, breathable, highly versatile, and biodegradable. Soft and breathable bed sheets. However, traditionally grown cotton uses up huge amounts of water and pesticides.
Shop for GOTS cotton, or organic cotton that has been grown with sustainability in mind. You’ll want to check the label for true organic cotton content, too.
If you’d like luxurious upholstery in your living room, you can give wool a try! This sustainable textile is wrinkle-resistant and durable, as well as naturally good at holding dyes in vibrant colors.
Perhaps the only downside of wool is that it’s an animal product. However, it’s possible to buy ethical wool that adheres to standards for fair treatment of animals. Wool can also replace synthetics and polyester fleeces, which shed microfibers that harm the environment even if the materials themselves are vegan.
Did you know that humans have been cultivating hemp for over 10,000 years? This time-tested textile comes from the stem of the cannabis plant yet contains negligible amounts of THC (the compound behind marijuana’s psychological effects). As a crop, hemp is naturally resistant to pests and fungus attacks, requires little water, and uses up a relatively small amount of land. It even helps purify soil! Once harvested, pure hemp is similar in texture to linen.
When shopping for hemp tablecloths or sheets, it pays to research a bit about hemp brands you have in mind. Some companies use chemicals for faster processes and higher yield, greenwashing themselves to seem eco-friendly. Also opt for hemp that has been colored with natural dyes to truly minimize environmental impact.
5. Lyocell and Modal
Both of these textiles come from wood pulp. The production of lyocell and modal does not use harmful solvents. It’s often even closed-loop, with 99% of its chemicals being captured and reused. Just be sure to take a look at where the materials come from! One brand you can try out is Tencel, which gets its lyocell and modal from natural forests and sustainable plantations.
Ever heard of leather made from pineapple leaves instead of animal hide? Natural and biodegradable, Piñatex reduces waste from pineapple production and even helps farmers earn more.
Upholstery made of rich piñatex is currently on the rise. Currently, there are already sofas and car seats covered in piñatex!
This prized textile comes from the cocoon of the silkmoth. Conventional silk is infamous among animal lovers because of how it kills the pupae inside the cocoon during production. However, there is now eco-friendly Ahimsa silk which spares the pupae and only harvests cocoons after the pupa has left.
Sustainable and eco-friendly silk does not use harsh dyes, resulting in a softer texture. Try covering your pillows with cases made of sustainable silk and see how quickly you fall asleep after climbing into bed!
Comfort, style, and eco-friendliness can definitely go hand in hand. Remember this list, and you can complete your home with indulgent and sustainable textiles.
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