The Sustainable Fabrics Guide - 5 Eco-friendly Fashion Choices

How can I be more sustainable? 

It's a question in all of our minds, one we spend a lot of time bouncing around our office. We all know that to help the environment we need big changes. Every industry has a part to play. Every individual can make small but powerful changes too. So how do we start? It's all about choices. Choosing to go veggie for our next dinner party. Choosing a green energy provider. Choosing where to start the compost heap we keep talking about starting... 

Want an easy way to make a difference? Choosing the fabrics we put in our wardrobes. 

We've compiled this ultimate guide to green fabrics. This way you can make conscious choices and flex some eco-warrior muscles at the same time. Here are 5 sustainable fabric choices for your next wardrobe refresh.

 

#1. Surplus fabric

Due to fast fashion, the UK discards around a million tonnes of textiles per year. That's a whole lot of waste. But it's also a whole lot of something else. Opportunity.  Opportunity to turn unwanted pieces into lifetime companions. This is exactly what Henry saw 10 years ago in a shirtmaker's offcuts. So, SIRPLUS was born with a few pairs of upcycled boxer shorts. Now, 10 years on, we make whole collections. And we're still using surplus! Forward-thinking wardrobe staples that are built to last. 

 

 

Our new collection features some superheroes of surplus. On top, we have some of our limited edition favourites. The Deep Indigo Chore Jacket is crafted from Italian surplus denim with a statement ribbed finish. The Camel Brushed Cotton Chore Jacket hails from a thick, durable surplus cotton - brushed for a suede-like finish. Both are also made in the UK, so they haven’t travelled far either.

 

 

To top off any top-notch attire, our Formal Trousers use surplus cotton for the lining. For something a little more languid, try the Blue Dot Pyjama Top and Trousers. Made from Italian surplus cotton, who knew sustainable looked so comfortable?

 

 

And we haven't forgotten our roots. Our signature cut boxers are still using the softest surplus cottons to adorn the modern man. The Pink Pinstripe Boxer and Red Cedar Stripe Boxer both make a bold statement. Colours that show you care. The surplus cotton is both distinctive and durable. 

 

 

For something more fluid try the Navy Polka Dot Silk Boxers. Cut from a soft Italian surplus silk, they lend a little luxury to our signature comfort fit. 

 

#2. Linen

Part of the natural fibres family, we've been wearing linen for a long time. And it's no surprise when you look at it's pro's list. Spoiler, it's pretty long.

 

 

It’s breathable, durable, lightweight, absorbent, antimicrobial, moth-resistant, and cool. By that we mean, it lowers your body temperature. Agriculturally, it requires less water than cotton. It also doesn’t need so many pesky pesticides. Bonus: It's made from the flax plant, so it's biodegradable too! 

Linen has always been in our lookbook. But the real standouts come in our linen suiting. You can cut a cool figure at summer events in one of our lighter shades. The Grey Herringbone Jacket and Trousers make for fine formalwear.

 

 

The Navy Linen Nehru Waistcoat is a more casual way to stay sharp. Pairing both with our Grandad Shirt makes a strong style statement, with a bit of love for the planet too.

 

 

#3. Recycled cotton

Also part of the natural fibres family, we've worn a lot of cotton in our time. Since around 3,000 years BC to be precise. This means there's a lot of cotton out there looking for a loving home. 

 

Enter recycled cotton. A mixture of post-industrial and post-consumer cotton waste creates a great green alternative. Like rehoming a beloved pooch, we have been busy rescuing some castaway cotton. 

 

 

We've given a home to recycled cotton in this season's shirts. The Navy Cotton Linen Grandad Shirt has never looked better. Made from a highly-sustainable blend incorporating recycled cotton, it cuts a fine shape. A regular fit and a signature collar that stands out from the crowd, it's an eco-fashion staple.  

 

 

Organic cotton, like the kind we use in our T-shirts, is grown without pesticides. This helps protect the cotton itself, as well as nearby flora and fauna. The cotton workers are protected from harmful chemicals too. Our Navy Cotton Linen Shirt, crafted in a recycled and organic cotton blend, is both kind and cool. Blended with linen it won't let you overheat. Plus it becomes softer with continued wear. A simple, lightweight shirt with a regular fit and neat point collar, it works for formal or casual alike.

Finished with ethically-sourced corozo nut buttons - a green staple. 

 

Using recycled cotton has the potential to help reduce water and energy consumption. Plus, it helps keep cotton clothes out of landfill and outback in our wardrobes. Which is why it's one of the best choices we can make for our wardrobes. 

 

#4. Bamboo

The old bamboo. Not only a handy prop for a musical number, but a forward-thinking fabric alternative. It's got a pretty impressive CV -  grown without pesticides or chemical fertiliser, it requires no irrigation. It also produces 35% more oxygen than a similar footprint of trees. Bamboo has got some envious growth rates too. Some species grow more than three feet each day! Making a renewable, reliable source for local farmers to cultivate. Bamboo heralds a new era in fabrics. Hurrah!

 

This little hero has cropped up a few times in our collections. And we love its ability to give a soft and luxurious experience for your feet. Plus, bacteria don't get along with bamboo fibre. All the better for our socks. Naturally antibacterial and moisture absorbing, they work hard at keeping your footsteps fresh too.

 

 

It's no wonder we love our Navy Stripe Bamboo Socks (and think you should too). With an Organic Cotton T-shirt and Casual Trousers, they pop at the ankle for streetwear-inspired style.

 

 

#5. EcoVero 

Viscose has been an extremely popular fabric for most of fashion history.  It's lightweight, breathable and soft - giving a desirable drape. It's also naturally derived from wood pulp. So far so good. 

Viscose has, however, been manufactured irresponsibly by some fast fashion brands. This can lead to pollution and deforestation - something none of us wants.

That's where EcoVero comes in. They source sustainable wood and pulp, leading the way in responsible viscose production. They also offer manufacturing transparency, meaning you can track the fabrics entire life cycle. Plus they hold an Ecolabel. This label of environmental excellence is only awarded to manufacturers with significantly low environmental impact. This way, you can be sure that your fashion choices are conscious ones.

 

 

We have incorporated EcoVero into our collection this season. Presenting the Positano Print Camp Collar Shirt. Making use of the flowing nature of the fabric, the Positano is printed with a watercolour of the Italian coastal town. Generously cut, the shirt has an open camp collar, short sleeves and a single chest pocket. Finished with eco-friendly corozo nut buttons - it's a green style ambassador.

 

Positano Print Camp Collar Shirt

 

Author 
Olivia Foan 

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