The frantic world of fast fashion has forced the manufacturing industry to shift towards producing low-quality materials at a cheap price to meet the needs of the consumers. Although prices of products have decreased as a result, the price that our planet is paying in exchange continues to rise.
On average, 100 billion garments are produced every year, while only less than 1% of materials in clothing are recycled into new textiles and fibers, even though they can be. Moreover, 1 garbage truck of clothing (2,625 kg) is burned or landfilled every second, since garments are often discarded after only 7 to 8 wears. Globally, customers miss out on $460 billion of value each year by throwing away clothes that they could continue to wear. That’s over the entire GDP of Thailand in 2017.
The cheaper materials used in low priced garments, such as synthetic fabrics, require vast amounts of energy to produce, often containing toxic chemicals. To tackle this alarming issue, the fashion industry has been advocating for initiatives to make sustainability a priority, gearing towards reusable, recycled, and durable fabrics.
The greenest fabrics consist of renewable fibers which are easy to grow or produce. They use limited amounts of water and energy to produce and are oftentimes recyclable. Below are three examples of the sustainable and eco-friendly materials used in VIDA products that you can incorporate in your closet to help protect our planet while supporting sustainable fashion:
Modal is produced by spinning reconstituted cellulose, from renewable cellulosic plants such as beech trees, pine trees, and bamboo, with a biodegradable fiber. Lenzing Modal® specifically, used in our scarves, is produced from sustainably harvested beech trees. The material is softer than cotton and has desirable properties that include higher resistance to shrinkage and moisture wicking.
A natural renewable fiber grown by Merino sheep, merino wool is thinner and softer than regular wool making it easy to wear next to skin without the uncomfortable prickle and itch factor. Each constituting fiber in merino naturally helps regulate body temperature, transports sweat away as a vapor, and cancels out odors. Being only ⅓ the diameter of a human hair, the fabric has a superfine quality that provides utmost comfort and makes it a perfect option for layering. Moreover, as a biodegradable fabric, merino wool disappears after about 12 months in the ground, where this fibrous protein composed of amino acids will release carbon and nutrients back into the soil.
Viscose is a fiber of regenerated cellulose derived from the wood pulp of fast-growing, regenerative trees such as eucalyptus, beech and pine, as well as plants such as bamboo, soy and sugar cane. Although Viscose is not inherently toxic or polluting, because of the rapidly growing fashion industry, much of the viscose on the market today is manufactured cheaply using energy, water and chemically-intensive processes. As such, the process can have devastating impacts on workers, local communities and the environment. Therefore, it is important to make sure that the viscose you purchase is not harvested from high-risk areas, and is manufactured responsibly and sustainably.