Six sustainable materials in comparison

Various sustainability symbols

Why are sustainable textiles so important?

Who would have thought it: the fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world after the oil industry. The demand for cheap fast fashion is a great burden for the environment and the population. The use as well as the disposal of toxic chemicals is an enormous problem for nature and people.

In recent years, however, a rethinking has taken place at many companies and the topics of sustainability & seals are increasingly coming into focus. Resource-saving production, short transport routes, environmental protection and fair working conditions are nowadays the be-all and end-all for many companies in the textile industry. In the course of this, many new, sustainable and thus environmentally friendly materials and fibers have emerged.

When is material sustainable?

Nowadays, (almost) all brands and stores advertise various sustainability concepts, recycled materials and other environmentally friendly innovations. As a customer, it is often difficult to keep track of everything.

Sustainability seals / certifications are a good help for an environmentally conscious purchase decision. These are awarded for compliance with certain social, economic and ecological standards and offer you optimal orientation.

We show you below a short overview with all the advantages and disadvantages and properties of various sustainable materials, which are no longer excluded from the market.

Organic cotton

Approximately 22 million tons of cotton (of which only 0.5% is organic cotton) are grown annually. Cotton thus remains the leading natural fiber on the market. Clothing made from organic cotton offers the following environmental benefits:

  1. 91% less water consumption than normal cotton cultivation.
  2. Use of natural fertilizers
  3. Harvesting without chemical defoliants

Wearing comfort:

  • Soft & good skin tolerance
  • Temperature and moisture regulating
  • Resistant

Durability & Care:

  • Wash gently
  • Air dry
  • Long shelf life
folded white organic cotton shirt decorated with raw material

Recycled polyester

Recycled polyester, also known as Rpet, is polyester fiber obtained by melting down plastic and re-spinning it. Fabrics made from recycled polyester offer the following environmental benefits:

  1. Existing plastic is incorporated into a recycling process & thus reused
  2. Reduction of plastic waste
  3. Low energy consumption in production

Wearing comfort:

  • Light
  • Quick drying (absorbs little moisture)
  • Resistant & robust

Durability & Care:

  • Wrinkle resistant (ironing not necessary)
  • Easy to care for
  • Wash at up to 40°C
3 plastic bottles are connected with natural yarn

Sustainable merino wool

Merino wool is not just merino wool! With sustainable mer ino wool, special attention is paid to animal welfare and the species-appropriate husbandry of the sheep. These should in no way be considered as mere "suppliers". In addition, care should be taken that the merino wool comes from a mulesing-free (Mulesing: Cruel mutilation of lambs., popular method in Australia) sheep farming. Sustainable merino wool offers the following environmental benefits:

  1. Renewable raw material
  2. Fully biodegradable
  3. No fertilizers or similar or few fossil raw materials needed for production

Wearing comfort:

  • Very soft & good skin tolerance
  • Warms in winter
  • Cools in summer

Durability & Care:

  • Very easy care
  • 30°C and 40°C in normal wash cycle
  • Very durable, no loss of quality
Hand strokes deep into wool from sheep

Tencel / Lyocell

Tencel, also known as Lyocell, is a fiber industrially produced from natural raw materials (beech and eucalyptus wood) . Fashion made from Tencel / Lyocell offers the following environmental benefits:

  • Biodegradable
  • Grows very fast
  • Less water consumption in production than cotton

Wearing comfort:

  • Particularly well tolerated by sensitive skin
  • Antibacterial and odor-inhibiting
  • Very good moisture management

Durability & Care:

  • Very durable & robust
  • Washable up to 60°C
  • Crease resistant (ironing not necessary)
Birch forest and right processed Tencel fabric


Natural linen and flax are processed in the linen industry to make linen fabric, which is the best choice for hot temperatures. Linen offers the following environmental benefits:

  • Hardy plant that requires little water, fertilizer & pesticides.
  • Biodegradable
  • All parts of the plant are completely processed: Zero Waste Principle

Wearing comfort:

  • Airy & light
  • Does not absorb moisture, ideal for hot temperatures
  • Soft skin feel

Durability & Care:

  • Very tear resistant & robust
  • Washable up to 40°C
  • Linen becomes softer with time
Flax in hand from woman in linen shirt


Hemp is just starting to take off. The fibers are made from the so-called bast of the hemp plant and provide optimal cooling in summer and good insulation in winter . Textile made from hemp offers the following environmental benefits:

  • Biodegradable
  • All parts of the plant are processed Zero Waste
  • Hemp plants need little water, pesticides & grow very fast

Wearing comfort:

  • Antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-static and insulated.
  • Very good moisture management
  • Cools in summer & warms in winter

Durability & Care:

  • Durable & robust
  • Since hemp hardly absorbs sweat, it does not need to be washed so often
  • Undyed hemp can be washed up to 95°C
Hemp leaf lies on fabric