So you’re looking for eco-friendly fabrics for your sustainable fashion brand… In this video I’m going to share the pros and cons of six of my favorite eco-friendly fabrics. Hi, I’m Shannon Lohr of Factory45 and for free weekly fashion entrepreneurship advice subscribe by clicking the red button below. Over the past five years I’ve helped hundreds of fashion entrepreneurs source fabric, set up manufacturing, and raise money to start their fashion brands. Through this channel and my business Factory45, I work with people just like you to launch your business the right way from the start. It’s important to know that when it comes to fashion there’s no such thing as perfectly sustainable. Our goal as sustainable fashion designers is to do the best we can always striving to improve our supply chain. On that note, here are six of my favorite eco-friendly fabrics. The first one is Lyocell also known as Tencel, here are the pros… It’s a very fast-growing renewable resource from wood pulp. It’s usually eucalyptus trees and it doesn’t require pesticides, fertilizer or any of that nasty chemical stuff. The fabric processing involves dissolving the wood pulp with a non-toxic solvent. Once the process is completed the solution is evaporated thereby removing the water and the remainder is used in the next cycle. So this is considered a closed-loop processing method, which is ideal. Here are the cons. It doesn’t always hold dye well, and the fabric can pill. That means that little balls fray away from the rest of the fiber. The second fabric is called Cupro. It’s a vegan alternative to silk. It’s created from a part of the cotton plant that is usually discarded. There’s low shrinkage, there’s good moisture absorbency, and it’s naturally wrinkle resistant. The cons are that it takes up stains easily that you’re not able to get out and it goes through a salt manufacturing process that does require water. My third favorite eco-friendly fabric is called hemp and here are some of the pros. It’s said to be the most durable of all natural fibers. It grows plentifully in many different parts of the world. It’s a renewable resource so it doesn’t require much water to grow and it doesn’t quire pesticides and insecticides (always a good thing). It has long roots, so it doesn’t contribute to soil erosion. It’s highly absorbent, its lightweight and yet three times stronger than cotton. It produces very little waste in the production of hemp fabric and it’s less harmful to the farmers who grow it. Here are some of the cons: If it doesn’t have an anti wrinkle chemical applied to it, then the wrinkles tend to wear and the fibers will start to break at parts of the garment like the collar and the hem. It can also be labeled organic even if there is this chemical cocktail applied to the fabric in the post-processing. I’ll share the other three fabrics next but before I do are you someone who is looking for sustainable fabric for your own fashion brand. I’ve created a Fabric Sourcing Kit that features a list of my top 10 suppliers that sell eco-friendly fabrics. Check out that kit by clicking the link below this video. The fourth fabric is Linen. Here are some of the pros: It’s natural, it’s lightweight, it’s durable and it’s highly absorbent. It’s made from long flax fibers that are stronger than cotton. Some of the cons: It wrinkles very easily, it’s bleached, to prepare for dyeing which is not eco-friendly and it can be grown GMO. And next we have organic cotton, which is probably the most well known of the sustainable fabrics. It’s GMO free, pesticides and insecticides aren’t used in the harvesting process. A field must be pesticide-free for at least three years before it can be certified organic and it’s typically a better experience for the cotton farmers. There are thousands of suicides linked to conventional cotton and farmers in India and that’s something you definitely want to avoid. One of the cons: is that although there are less chemicals used in the process, certified organic doesn’t necessarily mean the cotton is a 100 percent chemical free. Cotton can be labeled organic but still go through a chemical treatment throughout the post-processing. And the last one is Modal. Some of the pros: it’s a cellulose fiber made from beech trees. It’s a hundred percent biodegradable. It’s 50 percent more water absorbent than cotton. It holds color and is resistant to fading, it’s resistant to shrinking and it’s also extremely light and soft. Some of the cons, it’s prone to stretching and pilling, and it’s considered bio-based over natural because of the chemical process to turn it into fabric. So there you have it, the pros and cons of my top six sustainable fabrics. If you’re searching for eco-friendly fabrics and you need help getting started, check out my Fabric Sourcing Kit linked in the description below and get access to my top 10 eco-friendly fabric suppliers. See you in the next video!


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