Sustainable Materials to Look for When Shopping for Clothes

A lot is spoken of when it comes to sustainable fashion. To put it simply, sustainable materials are those that are organic, or recyclable. It's good to know where your clothes come from (the label, the designer, where it’s produced). But it’s even better to be aware of what your clothes are made of! Here are some sustainable materials to look for the next time you go shopping.


A natural fiber that has been around for years, Hemp is one of the most environmentally friendly materials for clothes. Although some people find it ‘rough’ on the skin, it is long-lasting and softens over time with regular use. The material is insulating and breathable. It is also kind on the soil. It doesn’t need much water or any fertilizer/pesticide to grow. Check out our favorite hemp tees by ONNO


Everyone must own a chic pair of linen pants! Ideal for the summers (breathable, just like hemp), it keeps you cooler than you would feel in cotton clothes. Linen is completely natural, biodegradable and can be recycled into other forms of clothing. Similar to Hemp, the only difference is that linen comes from the Flax plant (yes, the same one you get your flax seeds from!).

Organic Cotton

The reason we’ve specified ‘organic’ is because conventional cotton is a big no for sustainable clothing. It uses excess amounts of water and pesticides in its manufacturing. Organic cotton is but the natural version. It is grown without any harmful pesticides. Recycled organic cotton is the best alternative as it uses consumer waste and barely any water.


Econyl is a fabric that is made of plastic waste and fishing nets and is an alternative to nylon. It may shed microplastics when washed, so we recommend washing clothes made of Econyl rarely. 


This material (also known as Lyocell), comes from wood pulp of eucalyptus trees, designed with the goal of reducing environmental impact. Its manufacturing uses non-toxic raw materials. Although expensive, clothes made of Tencel will last a long time. It is antibacterial and moisture-resistant.


Clothes made of pineapple leaves? Who would’ve thought?! Pinatex is a plant-based alternative to leather. The best part about this is the fact that we can convert pineapple waste material into clothing.

Apple Leather

Another vegan and cruelty-free leather option is leather made from apple waste. It is durable, comes in a variety of textures, and is waterproof and commonly used to make handbags, purses and footwear.


Popular with shoes (check out our house shoes for women that have cork insoles), bags and clothes, cork is derived from a tree by stripping off the bark. As the tree regrows its bark, it takes in a lot more carbon dioxide than other plants. It is dried and then used as a raw material.

Keeping the environment in mind when shopping isn’t difficult after all! There are a number of alternatives to look for to be responsible consumers. There is no single fabric that will have zero impact on the environment while being durable enough for daily wear. However, you can learn about these options and make an informed choice. Our advice — shop consciously and live sustainably! We’ll continue to talk about all things sustainable here at Dooeys.