Clean By Design: Fiber Facts

The choice of fabric at the design table strongly influences the environmental impacts of a garment over its lifetime. Fibers made from plants, such as cotton and bamboo, can require huge quantities of water and pesticides to produce, while animal-based fibers such as cashmere can have severe impacts on the environment where the animals are raised. Synthetic fibers are often made from petro-chemicals that require a lot of energy to produce, but sometimes can be recycled. Fabric choice also drives consumer care requirements, which themselves have large water, energy, and toxic chemical impacts.