When looking at clothing and deciding on making on purchase, the material and texture of the clothing items play a huge factor in my decision making process. I always try to opt for high-quality, natural-fibered clothing that will look and feel good on my body and that will last a long time. There are numerous types of natural fibres used in the fashion industry, the most common being cotton, wool, cashmere, linen, and silk. There are many advantages to choosing them over synthetic materials.
Sustainability & decomposition. Since natural fibres come from nature, they are a much more environmentally-friendly alternative. They help maintain a sustainable environment since they can decompose easily. Conversely, synthetic fibres take much longer and much more effort to fully decompose. They are man-made plastics that do not break down easily.
High-quality. Natural fibres are of better quality than synthetic fibres. They last longer since the fibre is stronger. Moreover, they are more breathable and are softer. The clothing item is thus more durable and retains its shape, structure, and colour. Synthetic-fibered items tend to deform after a couple of washes and significantly fade with time, making them look cheaper. Synthetic fibres are also more likely to pill, which is when fabric forms small balls of fluff on its surface. The longer the fibres, such as in silk and linen, the less likely a fabric will pill.
Creates a luxurious and elegant style. Instead of feeling sticky and constricting, natural fibres are softer and breathable. They can better absorb moisture, which draws it away from your body, leaving you feeling fresh instead of sweaty. Furthermore, natural-fibered clothing hold their shape for a very long time, hence stay beautiful for a very long time. They do not wear down easily, even with frequent washes. Moreover, most luxurious outfits and wardrobes are mainly comprised of neutral colours. Since they come from plants and animals, natural-fibered clothing are usually found in neutral tones. Cotton is naturally off-white, linen is naturally cream/beige, wool is naturally white/grey/cream/brown/black, etc. The less natural-looking the colour, the more it looks man-made and “fake”. Not that bold colours are unfashionable, in fact numerous natural fibres are dyed. However neutrals are generally more luxurious.
Less toxic. Natural fibres are a healthier alternative for your body and skin. Since they come from nature, your body is naturally inclined to be more accepting of those materials, and less likely to have an allergic reaction or a rash. In addition, they are not made up with any chemicals, unlike synthetic fibres, which are predominately produced with plastics. Dyes are also not very healthy, as they can further irritate your skin and cause allergic reactions. As in the previous point, natural-fibered clothing are naturally neutral in colour, and do not require as much dye work as synthetic fibres.
For future shopping endeavours, take a look at the materials and see how the fabric feels in your hands. Realistically, natural-fibered clothing are more expensive, but they last so much longer and the pay-off is so worth it!