The Search for Sustainable Swimwear: Unraveling Eco-Friendly Fabric Alternatives and Their Hidden Impacts
As a swimwear brand we're always learning about how to reduce the environmental impact we make and what that looks like for us as a brand. The journey towards a greener world has led us to explore various eco-friendly fabric alternatives.
However, it is essential to navigate through the hype and greenwashing and delve into the true sustainability of these alternatives. In this blog post, we will examine some popular eco-friendly fabric options and shed light on why they might not always be the most sustainable choice.
Recycled Polyester: A Blessing and a Curse
Recycled polyester, derived from post-consumer plastic bottles and waste, has garnered attention for diverting plastic from landfills and oceans. It indeed reduces waste and lowers energy consumption compared to virgin polyester production. However, it is crucial to recognize that microplastics shed from synthetic fabrics like recycled polyester still pose a significant threat to aquatic ecosystems. Washing these fabrics can release these microplastics into our waterways, leading to potential harm to marine life and even ending up in our food chain.
Hemp: The Green Wonder?
Hemp has emerged as an eco-friendly alternative for various industries, including textiles. Known for its fast growth and low need for pesticides, hemp seems like a miracle plant at first glance. However, its relatively low yield per acre raises concerns about the amount of land required to meet the growing demand for hemp fabrics. Deforestation and habitat loss can occur when natural landscapes are converted to hemp fields. Balancing the growing popularity of hemp with responsible land use is crucial to ensure its overall sustainability.
Tencel (Lyocell): The Soft Side of Sustainability
Tencel, also known as Lyocell, is a plant-based fabric made from sustainably sourced wood pulp, often from eucalyptus or beech trees. The closed-loop production process significantly reduces water and chemical usage, making Tencel a genuinely eco-friendly option. However, the environmental impact of logging trees for this purpose remains a concern, as does the issue of sourcing the wood pulp responsibly to avoid deforestation.
Bamboo: Not Always a Green Dream
Bamboo fabrics have been promoted for their rapid growth and minimal need for pesticides. While it is true that bamboo can grow quickly without many chemicals, the manufacturing process to convert bamboo into fabric can be highly chemical-intensive. Some bamboo textiles also undergo a process where natural bamboo is turned into a semi-synthetic material, raising questions about its eco-friendliness.
In the quest for eco-friendly fabric alternatives, we encounter a variety of options that seem promising on the surface. As a swimwear brand, we recognise the importance of considering the entire lifecycle of these fabrics and their potential impacts on the environment. The key to true sustainability lies in making informed choices and adopting a holistic approach that balances environmental, social, and economic aspects.
Our dedication to sustainability
We will continue to do research and development in the quest of seeking the most sustainable options for any new swimwear collections.
Let's remember that sustainability is a journey, and with each step, we can make a difference for our planet and future generations. As we continue to navigate the world of eco-friendly fabrics, we remain committed to evolving towards a more sustainable and environmentally conscious future for the swimwear industry.
We would love to hear from the Pinksalt community on this topic!