Image via Nine Koepfer on Unsplash
The quality of a home is mainly defined by the efficiency and comfort of space. Delve into the following key points to choose the most sustainable fabric to radiate mindfulness to your living space.
When it comes down to choosing textile products for your own home, it’s important to differentiate the selection of fabric that you come across based on its environmental impact. As a responsible home decorator, it’s crucial to learn to identify the criteria that can assess which fabric is better than the other. One of the more predominant thing to notice is where the fabric came from and then to understand how it was made in order to calculate the impact it has. This article will let you discover pointers you should look for when selecting a fabric for your home.
Did you know? Decisions made during the design phase of a product account for 80% to 90% of its impact to the environment. Being a responsible designer means being responsible for the things you create, and this does not only apply to the styles, colours, and shapes, but in the way you take into account the entire life cycle of your product.
People often believe that natural fibres are associated with environmental responsibility. However, this is not entirely true. Take for example cotton, one of the most used natural fibres on the planet. Even though cotton uses 2% of the world’s agricultural land for its production, this crop is responsible for 24% of global insecticide use. The use of insecticides may adversely affect other organisms besides harmful insects, and when washed down by water into the water streams, could have a long term affect on marine animals and the water system for locals. The association that cotton is 100% natural, and therefore a good fibre, is not correct. To understand the full impact of textiles, it’s not enough to only look at its fibre content. Other factors need to be taken into account, such as the production process and the wet-processing (dying, printing or finishing of textiles) that a material goes through.
What can I do?
1. Instead of trying to choose the most sustainable material, it’s more practical to compare similar fibres that are better.
Analyse what kind of fibre the product is made of and what are some of the environmental impacts that the material is responsible for. For example, perhaps we are talking about a pyjamas that will be washed frequently. In terms of raw material, linen has less impact on the environment. Cotton is heavy on the use of pesticides, even though organic cotton uses less water and pesticides. In that case, it will be interesting to choose a fabric with a lower carbon footprint when you are presented with the options.
This is the case of Maison d’Ira’s pyjama sets, which uses organic cotton instead of regular cotton during the production process. This allows us to save more than 90% their water consumption compared to the use of conventional cotton.
2. Find alternatives with similar performance to conventional fabrics.
Perhaps when looking for a light, soft-touch fabric that should be breathable and suitable for comfortable designs. Instead of opting for viscose material, which requires a lot of energy and chemical substances such as sulfuric acid, you can consider a more sustainable alternative such as tencel.
This choice has been carried out by Maison d’ira, when selecting organic fibres for those products whose features required a material such as cotton or silk. We opted for Modal fabric, a bio-based fabric that is made from spinning beech tree cellulose. Modal is generally considered a more eco-friendly alternative to cotton because beech trees don’t require much water to grow and therefore the production process uses about 10-20 times less water. You can find these fabrics in our organic women's pyjamas and men's pyjamas in the home clothing section of our shop.
3. Always look for durability when choosing fabrics for your home or for your wardrobe.
The main environmental benefit of silk is that it is a durable, natural material, so it doesn't shed microplastics into the environment while in the wash. It also has benefits to your skin when used as part of your bedding set.
Durability doesn’t only work for the purpose of home usage, think about what will happen to the fibre when no longer in use. Woven into rugs, jute fibers provide lasting beauty and strength. They withstand commercial use and can last a lifetime in the home, but is also biodegradable so it will return back to mother nature when it is time.
The options for jute fibres can be discovered in Maison d’Ira kitchen and dining collection (Jute coaster), where table settings are created using this natural fibre.