In this matrix, we review 6 ‘man-made’, synthetic or semi-synthetic fibres and fabrics with a special look at the following:
- why they are sustainable
- each fibre’s unique benefits
- the garments they are suitable for
- things to consider before sourcing
- where to source them
- which labels or retailers are already using them
Most of ‘man-made’ fibres and fabrics reviewed below are derived from natural sources and are broken down then recycled by chemical or mechanical processes making them not necessarily ‘synthetic’ but ‘semi- synthetic’ or ‘man-made’.
‘Man-made’ fabrics provide designers with new opportunities in the form of drape, shape and textures. The fibres used are designed to dry easily, wash easily, can be hypoallergenic, can control moisture and reduce odours and they can even adapt to our surroundings. For sportswear and outdoor garments, ‘man-made’ fibres can even provide us with hi-tech technology which improves our body’s performance and comfort.
The list of materials included is a selection of man-made fibres, fabrics and suppliers available on the market, it is not exhaustive and represents an introduction and snapshot rather than full details of sustainability initiatives in each case.
This is part of a series of downloadable resources on sustainable fibres & fabrics, which will include more on wool, cotton and other natural materials.
(Article Image: Qmilch, eco milk fibre)
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