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Eco-Friendly Fabric Alternatives

Yesterday, we noted [www.sundance.tv] a few of the issues surrounding using leather (with more coming tomorrow) for upholstery, apparel and other day-to-day lifestyle uses; as it turns out, leather can be one of the more environmentally-harmful fabrics out there. Thankfully, there are many eco-friendly alternatives that can be used in its stead, should you desire, and these go way beyond organic cotton [www.treehugger.com]. Here are some of TreeHugger’s favorites.

1) Lenpur [www.treehugger.com], a fabric made from white pine tree clippings (really!) has been used to make some pretty sexy undergarments by a company called g=9.8; the fabric offers the comfort of silk, the feel of cashmere, and the coolness of linen. The resulting pieces acquire surprising thermal regulating and anti-stress properties.
2) Cork fabric [www.treehugger.com] uses the same stuff that stoppers wine bottles to make some pretty interesting, totally functional upholstery.
3) Honda [www.treehugger.com] has some interesting plans to use plant-based fabric in their car upholstery; they swear it’s equally durable as leather, without the pesky heavy metals and toxic additives.
4) Aside from in ethanol [www.sundance.tv], on the cob and in high-fructose syrup, corn makes some good fabrics, including this complete line of bedding [www.treehugger.com] available at Target.
5) Textiles and fabrics are among the many things bamboo [www.sundance.tv] can do, including bacteria-blocking sheets [www.treehugger.com] and chic apparel [www.treehugger.com].
6) Some silk [www.treehugger.com] is greener than others, as we learned in this handy Q&A article.
7) Seacell [www.treehugger.com] is true to its name: it uses wood pulp fiber (that’d be the “cell” half) and seaweed (yep, “sea”) to create a unique, very breathable fabric.
8) New apparel company Nau [www.treehugger.com] has devised 28 new high-performance fabrics for their apparel (pictured below) using recycled and reused materials, so your outdoor ethics can now match with your environmental code as well.

Want more? Check out our eco-tip for green fabrics [www.treehugger.com] and hit up the How to Green Your Wardrobe [www.treehugger.com] and How to Green Your Furniture [www.treehugger.com] guides for more info and tips on going green and looking good.