If you're like me, you know that sustainable clothing options are out there. You know how important it is to purchase items that are eco-friendly, and you want to do your part to help. After all, the future of our planet — and humankind — relies on it. But at the same time, you may not be sure how to start. What types of clothes are off limits? Can you still wear the stylish clothing you know and love? Is sustainable clothing even comfortable? Can you continue shopping at your favorite stores?
If you've had these questions, you're not alone. I too have recently found myself wondering what I can do to live more sustainably and help protect the Earth. I had no idea that one of the not-so-secret secrets to eco-friendly living was hanging right in my closet.
After a deep dive into the world of sustainable fibers, I was excited to discover the answers I was looking for and then some. In a nutshell? It's truly never been easier to start living more sustainably!
I had no idea eco-friendly pieces could be so accessible! Turns out, some of my favorite everyday clothing pieces like denim, activewear, lingerie, and even shoes contain TENCEL™ branded lyocell and modal fibers. TENCEL™ branded fibers are created through an environmentally responsible process that transforms sustainably sourced natural wood into fibers that end up in pieces from brands I already know and love.
H&M, Ted Baker, J.Crew, Levi's, Mara Hoffman, ASOS, Athleta, Madewell, Reformation, Amour Vert, and more all sell clothing with TENCEL™ branded fibers. I used to think sustainable clothing came with a higher price tag or wasn't entirely accessible. But just seeing this list of brands has given me reassurance that I actually can shop eco-friendly, and it doesn't even require much added effort. At the end of the day, I'm already shopping at these stores anyway, which is a win-win.
I'm a bit of a fitness fanatic, and after taking a look at my favorite workout clothes, I realized most of them contain a lyocell blend, which actually makes perfect sense, as TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers are breathable and super comfy. Sometimes, living more sustainably really does boil down to simply checking a clothing tag. I feel (and work out) better knowing my lyocell activewear is created through an environmentally responsible, solvent-spinning production process that uses recycled water and 99-percent-recovered solvent.
As a result of this solvent-spinning process, wood pulp is transformed into cellulosic fibers, all of which have high resource efficiency and low ecological impact. Due to their versatility and strength, these fibers can then be combined with textile fibers such as cotton, polyester, wool, and silk in order to enhance performance, feel, and functionality. So in other words, my favorite workout tights are partly made of wood, which is just as imperative as it is cool!
Meanwhile, TENCEL™ Modal fibers are mainly manufactured from the renewable raw material wood, sourced from sustainably managed forests. The production process of these fibers is also environmentally sound, with the use of renewable energy and recovery of raw material components for the production of coproducts.
Just like TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers, these fibers are super versatile and can be blended with loads of other fibers. I find myself turning to modal blends often due to how soft they are. Turns out, most of my favorite, coziest pieces all contain modal!
Finding comfortable clothing that lasts, breathes well, and is flattering and strong is hard enough. Finding clothing that's also eco-friendly seemed downright impossible — or so I thought. Aside from being eco-friendly, TENCEL™ branded fibers offer all of those amazing benefits and then some, making purchasing clothes that contain them a no-brainer.
When it comes to sustainable pieces, you can't get much better than items that can fully revert back to nature — which is pretty amazing when you think about it. On top of that, modal specifically is incredibly soft, making it ideal for sensitive skin.
But aside from instantly adding long-lasting softness to fabrics, modal also has impressive color retention, ensuring clothes stay bright and vivid through many washes, which is perfect for someone like me who avoids the dry cleaner at all costs and loves the ease of tossing everything and anything into the washing machine and dryer.
In particular, I love purchasing colorful t-shirts and denim that contain modal because I know they'll hold their color and look brand new for as long as possible while staying comfy and soft — no matter how many times I throw them in the wash.
For all of us who prioritize comfort, which, let's be real, is pretty much everyone, the fact that lyocell in particular offers fantastic breathability is key. The fibers literally help regulate your body temperature through moisture absorption properties. In that same vein, because there is less available moisture on the surface of these fibers, they provide a less favorable environment for bacterial growth, making them ideal for activewear.
If you're looking for strong, durable fibers that can easily be stretched and manipulated without losing their shape — again, perfect for activewear — lyocell is also your new best friend. As with everyone, I can be rough on my clothing. Between constant cycles in the washing machine to working out to wearing every piece I own into the ground, I need clothes that can keep up — while looking great. Clothing containing lyocell also has a flattering drape that moves with your body as well as a sleek and luxurious-looking sheen that keeps colors vibrant; perfect for all of us who want our clothes to look new every day.
Whether you've fully embraced sustainable living or not, it's safe to say one of the easiest steps you can take is purchasing items with TENCEL™ branded fibers. Soft, flattering, biodegradable, convenient, and available in many different forms, lyocell and modal have officially changed the clothing game. My closet, for one, will never be the same!