Sustainable Materials Research

As part of my research, I wanted to take a look at what materials could be used in the production process that would solve the problem of sustainability.

The textile industry is one of the biggest polluter as most of the work is done in the third world. Many people have shown interest in sustainable clothing and textiles, conscious of the harm that the pollution is doing to the planet. Consumers aren’t the only group that have shifted their views, many fashion and design labels are feeling the impetus to shift their unsustainable ways.

One of the main reasons the sustainable textiles movement has gained so much momentum is because of the shift away from using petroleum-based products. A lot of the clothing out on the market are made from petroleum-based products that are a lot more harmful to the environment, however much cheaper to produce than alternatives.

There are two types of natural fibers, plant fibres, and animal fibres. Many of the plant fibres are worn by people everyday, such as cotton..

Cotton is one of the most  used materials in the clothing industry, however the process is not sustainable as it is one of the most polluting products available. Insecticide and pesticides are widely used to produce cotton, which makes other materials such as hemp, soy, and flax more sustainable.

Rubber – Everyone views rubber as a synthetic material, however it is actually sourced from the rubber tree which is of course a renewable resource. Recycled rubber is even better as the process of harvesting the rubber doesn’t have to happen making it a very sustainable resource

Bamboo – When designing a product, its important to not only think sustainably, but also think about the overall cost of the product and how much it is going to cost the consumer, because if the price is too extravagant the customer won’t buy it. Bamboo is a sustainable resource if managed correctly, and the benefits of bamboo are many fold. Technically a grass, bamboo is a natural anti-bacterial that will help structures remain bacteria free. It is also water resistant and extremely durable that can be moved with ease as it is quite lightweight. Harvesting bamboo is also sustainable for the earth. The natural grass is grown in abundance all over the world and is easily replaced.

Hemp – Is a plant that has incredibly fibrous roots. These roots can be used in a number of different ways, however one of its properties is insulation. A whole house was made from hemp based products making it a very versatile material.Hemp-Cottage---an-eco-hom-011

Cork – One of the great things about harvesting cork is the fact it is in great abundance. This means that cork will regenerate far faster than humans can use it. It is also incredibly easy to recycle cork making it a very sustainable resource. Cork in near-impermeable and has a slight elastic property. It is also naturally fire retardant which makes it suitable for insulation.

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