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Get Green with Sustainable Textiles - Bao-Khang Luu

Harmony Art's "let it grow" print, made of certified organic cotton, looks fun and is guilt-free!

Earth Day was last month. Did you completely space out and forget? That’s okay. It’s not too late to make “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” your daily mantra.

Let’s start with your wearable tech projects by bringing some green to your fabric choices. You can go three ways: sustainable textiles, repurposed clothes, and up-cycled materials. We’ll address sustainable textiles in this post.

These days sustainable textiles are all the rage, from luxury fashions to low-end basics. Linda Loudermilk creates high-end clothes from “sasawashi, bamboo, sea cell, soya and other exotic self-sustaining plants.” H&M’s Garden Collection, made from organic and recycled textiles, launched this spring.  Even Walmart boarded the sustainable train by making their “Faded Glory private label line more sustainable.” Music and Sons makes t-shirts from bamboo and organic cotton. They step up the coolness factor by wiring up the t-shirt with an ipod and earphone jacks making it possible to rock out, look fabulous, and be eco-friendly all at the same time.

Here’s your chance to help blaze a trail for wearable tech that’s sustainable too!

If you’re not manufacturing anywhere near the volumes of the aforementioned companies, getting your hands on more exotic sustainable textiles might be a bit difficult. Don’t despair. You still have many great options, and the following merchants are by no means an exhaustive list.

  1. If you live in NYC or LA you can visit Mood Fabrics of Project Runway fame to see the textiles in person. They carry bamboo and spandex blend jersey in fun colors like hot pink and forest green, organic cotton twill made in the US, and smooth hemp silk. Visit their website if you can’t make it one of their stores.
  2. Fashion Fabrics Club offers a wide range of biodegradable fabrics made of Tencel which is derived from wood pulp. They also carry medium weight options from Dicey
    Fabric’s
    eco-friendy line manufactured in North Carolina.
  3. Fabric.com has an “Eco-Friendly & Organic Boutique” carrying organic cotton jersey and twill in tons of colors and silky bamboo rayon. If virgin materials aren’t your thing, they’ve got Ecospun felt and City Blocks Fabric both made from recycled plastic bottles.
  4. Harmony Art will satisfy your appetite for design, pattern, and color without the guilt. You can order their fabrics from one of their retailers.
  5. Last, but not least, lets not forget our favorite ECO-friendly DIY pattern printers at SpoonFlower.com. They currently have two types of organic cotton and also carry bamboo! The big plus about SpoonFlower is that your not only buying sustainable cloth, you can also make your own print, support other artists by purchasing theirs. This is an Eco triple threat!