Best Sustainable Fabrics: Your Guide to Eco-Friendly Clothing Materials

Discover the world of sustainable textile materials and eco-friendly textiles. As the demand for sustainable fashion grows, understanding the impact of our clothing choices on the environment becomes crucial. We explore a variety of sustainable fibres and fabrics that not only promise style but also stewardship of our planet. From organic cotton to recycled polyester, these sustainable clothing materials are paving the way for a more responsible fashion industry.

In Australia, the push for sustainable fabrics is gaining momentum, with many brands adopting eco-friendly materials in fashion. These efforts are not just about reducing environmental harm but also about fostering a culture of sustainability and consciousness in the fashion industry. By choosing sustainable materials for clothing, consumers can support practices that are better for the earth, ensuring that our choices today do not compromise the resources and health of future generations.

But First - No Fashion Fabric Is 'Perfect'

While many sustainable clothing materials offer significant environmental benefits, it's important to acknowledge that no fabric is entirely perfect. Each sustainable option comes with its own set of challenges, but the key is to choose materials that are environmentally friendly—those that offer a better alternative than traditional practices. The goal is to make more conscious decisions, gradually shifting towards eco-friendly materials in fashion to reduce our ecological footprint. However, there are still valid reasons why people still buy fast fashion.

For instance, even the best sustainable fabrics may have drawbacks in their production or end-of-life disposal. Recycled polyester reduces waste but still sheds microplastics. Organic cotton uses less harmful chemicals but can be water-intensive. The aim is not to seek perfection but to strive for improvement, making choices that balance benefits and challenges. By doing so, we contribute to a more sustainable fashion industry and promote the use of environmentally friendly materials that support the well-being of our planet.

Sustainable Fabrics

Learn about eco-friendly materials that are transforming the fashion industry, from organic cotton to recycled polyester. Each fabric offers unique benefits for a greener planet, helping you make more environmentally conscious choices in your wardrobe.

Organic Cotton

Organic cotton is a sustainable choice in textile production, grown without harmful synthetic pesticides or genetically modified organisms. This cultivation method benefits the environment by enhancing soil health and reducing water pollution. It is often certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), a rigorous certification that consumers should look for to ensure high environmental and social standards are met. This certification not only ensures safety for those involved in its production but also promotes biodiversity and ecological balance.

Besides its environmental benefits, organic cotton is renowned for its softness and durability, improving with each wash. It is commonly used in everyday wear, baby clothing, and eco-friendly bedding. By choosing products made from certified organic cotton, consumers can help reduce their ecological footprint while enjoying high-quality and comfortable textiles.


Hemp is a versatile and eco-friendly material derived from the hemp plant. It requires minimal pesticides, herbicides, and water to grow, making it a more sustainable alternative to conventional crops. Hemp cultivation also improves soil health and biodiversity, as it grows densely and shades out weeds, reducing the need for chemical inputs. Additionally, hemp is naturally resistant to pests, reducing the need for harmful pesticides.

Hemp fabric is known for its durability and breathability, making it ideal for a wide range of applications. It can be used to create clothing, accessories, and even sustainable building materials. Moreover, hemp fabric becomes softer with each wash, providing long-lasting comfort. By choosing products made from hemp, consumers can support sustainable agriculture practices and reduce their environmental impact.

Linen (from flax)

Linen, crafted from the flax plant, is renowned for its eco-friendliness, thriving in poor soil conditions and requiring significantly less water and pesticides than conventional crops. This natural fibre is fully biodegradable and strengthens the soil, making it a sustainable choice in textile production. Linen is also celebrated for its durability and ability to improve in comfort and texture with age, which extends the lifespan of each garment and reduces the need for frequent replacements.

Flax linen is particularly valued for its breathable and lightweight qualities, making it an ideal fabric for summer clothing, elegant drapes, and bedding. Its ability to wick moisture and dry quickly also contributes to its use in towels and activewear. By choosing linen, consumers not only enjoy high-quality products but also contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally responsible lifestyle.

Tencel Lyocell

Tencel Lyocell is distinguished by its sustainable production process, utilising wood pulp from sustainably managed forests and a closed-loop system that recycles water and solvents. This innovative process minimizes waste and environmental impact, making Tencel a model for eco-friendly fabric production. The resulting fabric is not only gentle on the environment but also on the skin, known for its softness, breathability, and moisture management properties.

Tencel's versatility makes it suitable for a wide range of textiles, from luxurious bed linens and soft underwear to stylish activewear and casual wear. Its smooth fiber surface imparts a silky feel, enhancing the comfort and appeal of garments. As consumers become more environmentally conscious, Tencel stands out as a responsible choice that does not compromise on quality or style.

Recycled Polyester (Repreve)

Recycled Polyester, particularly the Repreve brand, transforms pre- and post-consumer waste into valuable fibers, significantly reducing the need for virgin resources. This process helps divert waste from landfills and oceans, turning potential environmental hazards like plastic bottles into useful, durable fabrics. Repreve is widely recognized for its role in promoting circular economy concepts in the fashion industry, helping reduce the carbon footprint associated with manufacturing new polyester.

This sustainable fabric is incredibly versatile, used in everything from casual wear, activewear and recycled swimwear fabrics to furnishings and automotive interiors. Products made with Recycled Polyester are durable, often resistant to shrinking and fading, making them an excellent choice for consumers looking for quality that supports environmental conservation.


Econyl offers a pioneering approach to sustainable textiles by regenerating nylon waste such as fishing nets and fabric scraps from oceans and landfills. This process not only cleans up environmental waste but also reduces the dependency on petroleum as a raw material. Econyl fibers are processed into a high-quality yarn that retains the same properties as virgin nylon, making it a popular choice in fashion, sportswear, and even carpeting.

Econyl's adaptability and quality have led to its use in a variety of products, from swimwear that resists sun and heat damage to durable backpacks and accessories. By choosing Econyl-based products, consumers actively contribute to reducing plastic waste and promoting recycling initiatives.

Amni Soul Eco

Amni Soul Eco stands out as a biodegradable polyamide that significantly accelerates the degradation process once it reaches the landfill, compared to traditional nylons. This fabric breaks down into organic matter and biogas, both of which can be utilized in new environmental resources, reducing the waste cycle's duration and impact. Amni Soul Eco is particularly celebrated in the eco-fashion sector for its low environmental impact and high-quality performance.

The material is ideal for clothing and hosiery, providing durability, comfort, and moisture-wicking properties. It is especially favored in the production of activewear, where its environmental benefits align with the growing consumer demand for sustainable fitness clothing that doesn’t compromise on function or style. You'll find Amni Soul Eco everywhere as it a popular sustainable swimwear fabric!

In-Between Fabrics

Exploring materials that straddle the line between sustainable and less eco-friendly, we delve into Bamboo Lyocell, Modal and Pinatex. Each offers green advantages but faces unique processing challenges that impact their sustainability.

Bamboo Lyocell

Bamboo Lyocell is an innovative fabric derived from a rapidly renewable resource, offering an eco-friendlier alternative to traditional bamboo fabric processing, which can be chemical-intensive. Through the Lyocell process, bamboo is dissolved in a non-toxic solvent that is almost fully recyclable. This method significantly reduces environmental impact and results in a soft, durable, and highly breathable fabric. It's particularly popular for bedding, clothing, and intimate apparel due to its smooth feel and moisture-wicking properties.


Modal fabric, made from renewable plant materials such as beech trees, involves a chemical process that can be environmentally intensive. However, when produced using the Lyocell method, the environmental impact is considerably reduced. This sustainable approach recycles water and reuses chemicals efficiently, producing a soft, silky fabric that is ideal for clothing that directly touches the skin like underwear and luxury loungewear. Modal blends well with other fibers, enhancing fabric softness and ensuring comfort without compromising on eco-friendliness.


Pinatex is a sustainable alternative to leather, made from pineapple leaf fibers, which are a byproduct of the pineapple harvest. This innovative material reduces waste and provides an additional income stream for farmers. While Pinatex is less harmful than conventional leather in terms of environmental impact, it requires certain resins and processes that can pose sustainability challenges. However, it remains a popular choice for eco-conscious consumers, used in fashion accessories such as shoes, bags, and upholstery, offering durability and a unique aesthetic.

Not Sustainable Fabrics

 Understand why materials like conventional cotton, polyester, nylon, and acrylic are harmful to the planet. Learn about the significant resource use and pollution associated with these fabrics, and why it's crucial to seek better alternatives for a sustainable future.

Conventional Cotton

Conventional cotton's sustainability issues stem from its excessive use of water and reliance on harmful pesticides and fertilizers. This high demand for water often leads to significant environmental degradation in water-scarce regions, disrupting local ecosystems and communities. The heavy use of chemicals not only pollutes waterways but also affects the health of farmers and wildlife in the surrounding areas, contributing to long-term ecological damage.


As a petroleum-based fabric, polyester's production is highly energy-intensive, relying on non-renewable resources that contribute to environmental degradation. The process emits substantial amounts of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, exacerbating global warming. Furthermore, polyester is non-biodegradable, persisting in the environment for centuries and frequently shedding microplastics that contaminate water and soil, posing a serious threat to marine life and human health.


Nylon shares many of the negative attributes of polyester, including a dependency on petroleum for production and significant greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, nylon's durability becomes a disadvantage upon disposal, as it takes decades to decompose. Like polyester, it releases harmful microplastics into the environment during washing, which accumulate in the world's oceans and are ingested by marine organisms, entering the global food chain.


Acrylic fibers are derived from fossil fuels, making their production highly toxic and energy-intensive. The toxins released during manufacturing include cyanide, which poses significant health risks to factory workers and pollutes the air and water. Acrylic is difficult to recycle, often ending up in landfills where it releases toxic substances as it slowly degrades, contributing to both soil and water pollution over time.

Embracing Eco-Friendly Fabrics: The Future of Sustainable Fashion & Textiles

In our journey towards a more sustainable wardrobe, understanding and choosing the best sustainable fabrics is essential. From recycled fabric materials to those sourced from sustainable fabrics in Australia, each choice brings us closer to a more earth-friendly clothing option. Let's continue to push for environmentally friendly materials in the industry, advocating for fabrics that respect our planet and promote a sustainable future.

By embracing eco-friendly textiles and supporting brands that prioritize sustainable materials for clothing, we can drive positive change in the fashion industry. The shift towards sustainable fibres is not just a trend but a necessary evolution towards more responsible consumerism. Together, we can make a difference by choosing products made from recycled fabric materials and other sustainable textile materials, ensuring a healthier planet for future generations. Let's celebrate and promote the use of earth-friendly clothing, making sustainability a core part of our fashion choices.

Questions About Eco Materials

What is a sustainable material for clothing?

A sustainable material for clothing is one that is produced with minimal environmental impact. Examples include organic cotton, hemp, Tencel Lyocell, and recycled polyester. These materials reduce resource consumption, pollution, and promote ecological balance, making them better choices for the environment.

What is the most durable clothing material?

Hemp is one of the most durable clothing materials available. It is strong, long-lasting, and becomes softer with each wash. Hemp is resistant to wear and tear, making it an excellent choice for high-use items like jeans, jackets, and bags.

What is the most sustainable fabric to produce?

The most sustainable fabric to produce is Tencel Lyocell. Made from sustainably sourced wood pulp, its closed-loop process recycles water and solvents, minimizing environmental impact. This fabric is biodegradable, gentle on the skin, and reduces the ecological footprint compared to conventional fabrics.

What type of clothing is environmentally friendly?

Environmentally friendly clothing is made from sustainable materials like organic cotton, hemp, Tencel Lyocell, and recycled polyester. These materials are produced with minimal environmental impact, reduce resource consumption, and support ecological balance, offering a more sustainable alternative to conventional fabrics.

How can we make textiles more sustainable?

We can make textiles more sustainable by using eco-friendly materials such as organic cotton, hemp, Tencel Lyocell, and recycled polyester. Additionally, implementing energy-efficient production processes, reducing water usage, and minimizing chemical inputs are crucial. Supporting brands that prioritize sustainable practices and opting for durable, high-quality items can also help.

What materials are used in fast fashion?

Fast fashion commonly uses materials like conventional cotton, polyester, nylon, and acrylic. These fabrics are chosen for their low cost and quick production times but often involve significant environmental impacts, including high water and pesticide use, greenhouse gas emissions, and non-biodegradability.