We love to write, reflect and share information about fashion and sustainability . We are going to touch on various topics that interest us and that we deal with every day : fashion, trends, sustainability, processes, tips, materials, news ... To try to bring sustainability closer to fashion and ensure that little by little we all become a little more sustainable or at least we can recognize if a garment is sustainable or not and to what extent.
Today we are going to talk to you about how to choose sustainable materials
The choice of fabrics is one of the most important processes when designing any collection and especially in the world of sustainable fashion. Knowing well, balancing the price, characteristics of the fabric you need, sustainability, color and design is sometimes a difficult task, because even today sustainable fabrics are, in comparison, more expensive than conventional ones and even more so, if you try to buy from trusted companies where You know where it comes from, which is what we do at Wearth . This traceability and trust today has a price, as it is not something that all suppliers can provide, so for us it is totally worth it.
But let's focus.
As I mentioned , when choosing materials we must take into account several factors:
Temporality and location : it seems obvious, but sometimes in the creative process we get carried away by color or touch and ideas and it is really something to take into account not only in the type of fabric: poplin, cambric, chiffon, twill... Yes It's summer and you will always use lighter, lightweight fabrics.
The fiber/material is also important, because due to their characteristics, many of them are temporary or timeless: for example, you will not use linen in the middle of winter or wool cloth in the middle of summer.
Location: knowing where you sell or where you want to sell is important, if you have a warm climate you may not need a wool bouclé, only with a medium weight twill you can make outerwear or with mid-season garments that will have a longer duration and their respective fabrics.
What garment do I want to make with this fabric/material : super important when choosing material. Knowing what I'm going to do with it: outer garment, shirts, dresses... whatever, but the weight, drape, feel, etc. Be appropriate for the type of garment. And be careful with the weight too. Let's not make a jacket so heavy or a dress so heavy that it bothers the wearer.
Material characteristics: Linked to the previous point. Depending on the garment, there are materials that are irreplaceable due to their characteristics. For example, swimwear or technical sports clothing is usually made of polyester and there is a reason for this, since this material, coming from petroleum, has characteristics that cotton or natural fibers cannot provide. For example quick drying.
Or women's swimsuits or bikinis will always be made of synthetic fiber if we want the functionality that most quick-drying swimsuits have, elasticity, color, etc.
Price: This is usually the point of contention with designers. From your own experience you start to design, think about colors, materials, volumes, etc. and the collection is super pretty and it is THE COLLECTION: ideal and beautiful. And you usually choose the material based on everything I mentioned before and you don't pay attention to the price.
You have to look at the fabric prices per meter, when you choose the fabric, it is super important! Although it may seem super obvious, it is very important and sometimes we forget.
You have to take into account the consumption of the garment, at what price I am going to sell it and if it really fits the price or should I choose a cheaper fabric that suits me aesthetically and in terms of sustainability.
Origin of the material or sustainability of the material:
As I will explain in the next post, there are many sustainable materials and many suppliers of sustainable fabrics worldwide. One of the points to review in sustainability is the origin, the processes and who has worked the fabrics. At this point we always advise that they be local (at least relatively, Europe, for example). The fact that it is produced in Europe already means that it is under European regulations at the level of workers and also greater traceability. The further away you buy, the more people are involved and the more difficult it is to know with complete certainty the origin and processes that that material has undergone.
Broadly speaking, these are the points that we take into account at Wearth when choosing materials.
Before starting to explain the different options for sustainable fabrics, we must not only take into account why I need it (what I mentioned: type of garment, fall, winter/summer, etc.) but also the post-consumption of this material.
For example, there are garments that, due to functionality, are better to have elastane (a fiber that gives elasticity), for example underwear or baby clothes, since they need this elastic that adapts and does not bother the body. But if possible, it is always better that the compositions chosen are 100%. For example, 100% cotton, 100% linen, 100% polyester… whatever since (without talking about recycled or organic) these “whole” compositions can be recycled to create new fabrics, while blends today cannot be recycled. recycle. That is why at Wearth we always use 100% compositions, since our product also allows us to do so.
This is a very important point to take into account when purchasing or designing your product.
And the next day the thousand options you have on the market. You would be surprised at the amount of new fabrics they are making based on pineapple skin, milk protein, algae, etc. Imagination is in power and the best thing is that it is becoming a reality.
Stay tuned for the next post ;)