A Modern Man's Guide To Sustainable Fashion

Being sustainable is all about caring for the environment and the people around you. The fashion industry has been infamous for producing unsustainable products that are harmful to the environment for many years. Resultantly, the industry is now swiftly shifting to sustainable practices, and men’s fashion is no way behind. Lately, you may have noticed a higher number of brands highlighting terms like recycled material, environment-friendly fabric, PETA certified, vegan, non-GMO, and ethical labour practices in the manufacturing and marketing process.

Sustainable fashion is not just a trend but the need of the hour. Every environmentally conscious individual should make honest efforts to reduce carbon footprint through the adoption of ethical fashion. Shopping with an eco-friendly mindset may not be very easy unless you know some basics about environment-friendly fabrics. Let us dig deeper and discover how to approach men’s fashion with an eco-friendly perspective.

Type of fabric: the most crucial aspect of ethical clothing

The cloth is the central part of any outfit, and it deserves your attention if you are focusing on sustainable fashion. There are multiple attributes of a fabric manufacturing process that contribute to the eco-friendly quotient of the finished product.

  • Low dependence on chemicals
  • Avoids soil erosion
  • Low consumption of water
  • Biodegradability of the fabric
  • Use of renewable resources
  • Lesser need of energy such as electricity, fuels and so forth
  • Use of recycled material
  • No use of Genetically Modified Organism (non-GMO)

Go for a fabric that can satisfy at least fifty per cent of the above criteria of eco-friendly fibres.

The following classification of sustainable fabrics will help you shop with a specific focus on eco-friendly fibres. Four basic types of sustainable fibres go into the making of the fabric.

These are:

  • Fibres of plant origin- These have minimum impact on the environment. Some examples of plant-based fabric are linen, organic cotton, hemp, ramie, and natural rubber.
  • Semi-synthetic fibres- Fibers like sustainable viscose, Tencel, Cupro, and orange fibre have a low impact on the environment.
  • Recycled fibres- The manufacturing process of these fibres use the recycling of waste material. Cotton, nylon, wool, and polyester fabrics are suitable for recycling. 
  • Fibres of animal origin- Sustainably produced animal-based fibres like silk and responsible wool, leather, and cashmere belong to this category. 

Popular options of sustainable fabric

Most regions of India are perennially humid and hot. It calls for a comfortable fabric that keeps you cool and fresh throughout the day. Consider the following fabric options when browsing for sustainable fashion wear.

  • Organic cotton - You may be surprised to know that standard cotton is not a sustainable fibre. Production of cotton and cotton fabric involves using pesticides, GMO seeds, and a lot of water. However, cotton is an ideal fabric in tropical countries like India. The solution is to go for organic cotton, which offers the goodness of cotton minus the negative impact on the environment. Non-GMO seeds are necessary to harvest organic cotton. Traditional farming methods require a whopping 70% less water to produce organic cotton
  • Hemp- This is a unique variety of fabric made by using hemp fibres. Hemp needs no pesticides or harsh chemicals for production. The environment-friendly hemp fibre has remarkable strength and durability. It also prevents UV ray absorption and is easy to recycle. Go for hemp fabric if you are in pursuit of a highly absorbing and bacteria-resistant sustainable clothing option. 

  • Tencel®- The unique manufacturing process of Tencel® recycles all chemical ingredients. It is a semi-synthetic fibre made from organically grown eucalyptus trees. The environment-friendly Tencel® fabric is also 100% biodegradable. 
  • Modal- This sustainable fabric is inherently soft and comfy. Modal is a type of cellulose fibre with excellent moisture resisting properties. 
  • Bamboo- Your search for a luxuriously smooth, comfortable, and sustainable fabric will take you to bamboo rayon. Bamboo is among the most sustainable plant resources, which is processed to produce bamboo fabric. It possesses a natural sheen and has a greater absorbing capacity than cotton to keep you cool all day long. 
  • Linen- It is a trending fabric as one can find a large gamut of linen fashion wear at any reputed fashion store. Linen has flax origin. Production of flax needs negligible amounts of energy, water, and other natural resources. The plants are powerful absorbers of carbon in the environment. Flax cultivation is less dependent on the use of pesticides and fertilizers. 

Brands that promote sustainability 

By gaining a fair knowledge about the sustainable fabric varieties, you can be more confident and focused while shopping for ethical fashion wear. The above information will help you make an informed and responsible decision to protect the environment. Let us browse through some of the ethical brands of men’s fashions.

1. A flattering silhouette in minimal earthy hues, the linen kurta pyjama set by Saphed is ideal for those who want to move away from conventional festive clothing. A sleek design made with 100% linen, European flax - a natural fibre, you'll enjoy wearing for family gatherings, wedding functions or casual evenings lounging at home.

2. This 100% hemp shirt by B Label is a perfect fit for breezy, airy days. This mandarin collar half sleeved detailed yoke shirt, with side seam pockets is sure to set the mood right. The shirt's colour blocked details will give you an edge above all. 

3. Saptak is the spectrum of all 7 notes in any musical tradition. All music in the universe is part of this spectrum and so is this Kurta, that needs no particular reason to wear. One can feel the grace and elegance from far far away. It has three pockets, left, right and top, all inseam. Wear it at a get together or at home, it carries you the same way as to how you want – Comfortable.

Saptak is for men who prefer comfort over style. This minimalist kurta is not to be kept hidden in your wardrobe like the others you have, but to be used as much. Handwoven fabric tends to soften more with every wash.

4. This relaxed fit shirt by Meko Studio has been hand flat knitted with vertical white and green racking. Finished with single jersey on the hemline, sleeve opening and collar. Wooden buttons have been used for this garment.

    In conclusion

    The modern man is environmentally conscious and attempts to blend comfort and fashion with an ethical mindset. Sustainable fashion is gaining traction as more and more men are becoming aware of environmental protection. Several fashion brands are adopting a 100% sustainable approach. These brands offer a broad gamut of fashion wear and accessories to help you invest your hard-earned money with responsibility.

    Amala Earth is a one-stop curated marketplace for all things earth-friendly in Beauty, Fashion, Home, Food, Wellness, Festive, Gifting and much more! Check out more options for responsible fashion choices at  Amala Earth.