Fast fashion has become more common, and clothing is made in shorter amounts of time to meet demand for the latest trends. New patterns come out every few weeks.
At the same time, there is a desire to return to slow fashion, which focuses on high-quality items with a longer lifespan. The consumer of today is aware of the harm that fast fashion causes and is prepared to switch back to sustainable clothing and fabrics that last longer. The revival of natural fibers has resulted from an increased awareness of the environmental harm caused by synthetic materials.
Even though India has a long history, the fast fashion industry took off, and synthetic and other artificial fibers were used a lot. Textile mills quickly became one of the major industrial pollutants, contributing one fifth of all industrial water pollution worldwide.
However, what began as a gradual shift from fast fashion to slow fashion changed when the severe effects of climate change became clear to all cohorts. Consequently, in recent years, there has been an increase in demand for the commercial application of natural fiber-based composites. Natural fibers are advantageous due to their low cost, light weight, renewability, biodegradability, and high specific properties, such as eco-friendliness and renderability, among other characteristics.
Types of Natural Fibers The best natural fibers have been silk and cotton.In terms of their use in textiles, cotton commands the majority of the market. The cotton plant’s seeds are the source of the fiber, which has been used since about 3000 BC.
Cotton is lightweight, flame-resistant, hypoallergenic, and simple to wash. It is the most widely used natural fabric for clothing. Silk is also very popular and in high demand all over the world. The industry has grown rapidly in recent years thanks to substantial government and international subsidies for silk projects and marketing strategies. Silk exports are also rapidly increasing.
Other than cotton and silk, other resource-efficient fibers include linen, hemp, modal, banana, and lotus. Hemp is a great example of how textiles can be made with little impact on the environment. Because it has been used for centuries, it is an ideal plant fiber that can help society and reduce our carbon footprint at the same time. It is a very durable fabric that does not easily lose its shape and lasts longer than cotton. Fabrics made of hemp are hypoallergenic and do not irritate the skin. Hemp has the feel and appearance of conventional linen. With use and washing, hemp materials may soften. Tapestries, shawls, towels, and tapestries are all made with it.
Banana Fiber : Like hemp, the stems and peels of bananas contain fibers that can be used to make textiles. This has been done for generations, but Western fashion only recently realized the common banana’s potential as a textile. It is better suited for blankets, rugs, mats, and other home furnishings due to its natural appearance and texture. It is a good fabric for summer wear because it is light and has a lot of absorbency.
Linen : It comes directly from the flax plant, making it one of the most widely used fabrics. Because it is soft, comfortable, and dries much faster than cotton, linen is almost always found and used as a bedding fabric. It is known for being a strong, durable, and absorbent fabric. This makes linen the ideal fabric for people who sweat while sleeping. The best way to describe linen is as a fabric made from very fine fibers from the flax plant. These fibers are carefully extracted, spun into yarn, and then woven into linen fabric, a soft, long-lasting fabric.
Lotus Fabric : Luxury clothing is being made from Lotus fibers. Because they are soft and comfortable, clothing made from lotus fibers is becoming increasingly popular. Additionally, lotus fibers have been extensively utilized as composite and porous materials. It is a remarkable sustainable material that can be used to make high-quality textiles for the home and clothing. It has almost no wrinkles, is naturally light, breathable, and soft. Additionally, it is a very eco-friendly fabric free of chemicals and toxic substances. Probably the most environmentally friendly fabric on the planet.
Modal : Modal is a version of conventional rayons that is lighter, more breathable, and more long-lasting. Only wood chip cellulose from Beech trees is used to make it. Modal is now recognized as a breathable, fade-resistant, and wear-resistant soft fiber. As a result, modal is used in a wide range of products today, including bedding, furniture, and clothing. It is mostly used in place of silk or cotton. Because of its breathable weave, modal is ideal for sportswear, base layers, and t-shirts.
Despite the fact that the Indian textile industry is largely self-reliant due to the abundance of raw materials, affordable local labour, and efficient supply chains, there is still a lot that needs to be done to move up from its current ranking of runners-up to the top textile manufacturer and exporter. This is where assistance from the government comes into play. The fashion industry should shift its focus to the creation of materials that are more durable, sustainable, and able to withstand extreme weather patterns, according to climate experts and industry professionals. The adoption of sustainability standards in the textile industry is a step in the right direction toward the day when fashion can lead the industry in environmentally responsible and ethical business practices.