Is Linen Eco-Friendly?
Eco-friendly is a buzzword in environmentally conscious circles, especially those in the textile industry. So what does eco-friendly or eco-conscious really mean? This article explains. The term "Eco" is explained from the website Etymoline which is a great resource for understanding the roots of words. According to this resource "Eco" refers to the relationship of humans to the environment. Eco is therefore a broad idea that informs the fields of ecology, ecosphere, ecosystem, and eco travel, to name a few.
This chart explains ecology's origin:
In the textile industry, "Eco"describes how the growing, production, design, and fulfillment of linens (or linen fabric) is friendly toward or helps the environment. There are many different ways that linen can be described as eco-friendly, and you'll find that each linen brand employs eco-conscious measures into their operations uniquely. Some brands are less concerned with being eco-conscious, and will not make it part of their story. Other brands, like Modernplum being environmentally conscious a core part of our values and bake it into every part of our operations.
Key Eco-Friendly Components
1. Fabric Selection: The fabrics used is a key component of any eco-friendly operation. Did you know that some fabrics are by nature more environmentally conscious than others? Flax linen fabric is one of the most, if not the most eco-friendly fabrics around. Refer to this article for more information about linen and it's sustainable properties.
2. Manufacturing: How a product gets made is a critical part of a product being eco-friendly. If you facility uses extra energy, or you use harsh chemical dyes or finishes on the textiles, those components would detract from having a eco-friendly product. Or, on the otherhand, if a factory is committed to using all natural dyes or processes that do not add artificial chemicals to the textile during production, that would be eco-friendly. Also, quality of manufacturing is a consideration. If a product is made "fast"and not considered a long term, durable good, this ultimately is not good for the environment. These goods will end up in the land fill or at the Goodwill quickly.
3. Fullfillment and Shipping: Linen fabric and linen production that requires multiple locations and long shipments before reaching an end user is not an eco-friendly enterprise. International travel is not green. When possible, look for locally produced materials, goods, and services.
These are the three key components that either make or break the eco-friendly aspect of a product. For more information on this and sustainability in textiles, refer to this article.