The Best Sustainable Threads and Materials for Making Clothes

If we all start making a small effort toward more sustainable fashion decisions, slowly but surely, we’ll start creating a massive change in how the fashion industry operates.

While fast fashion seems to have taken over the clothing industry, many individuals need to awaken to the harsh reality that fast fashion has dire consequences for our environment. Each garment that we purchase from fast fashion retailers only further contributes to the destruction of Mother Earth and her resources. 

And while fast fashion may be bombarding every corner of the Internet, the reality is that making the switch to sustainable, flow fashion is not only easy, it’s planet-saving. All you have to do as a conscious creative is start by understanding the best sustainable threads and materials for making clothes so that each garment can make a difference.

What are sustainable threads and how are they made?

When we talk about sustainable fashion, many of us immediately think about the actual material. Very few think about the items used to create and finish garments. 

Sustainable threads are, in actual fact,  threads that are either biodegradable, made from recycled materials or completely organic. I personally recommend using 100% cotton or linen threads when making your garments in order to increase their recyclability.

Threads made from recycled materials should be the last option on your list. To the surprise of many, recycled threads are actually made from plastic bottles which can still have an impact on our environment. It’s best to keep recycled thread only for when you have to work with synthetic fibres.

Sourcing sustainable threads 

To help you on your journey towards supporting and uplifting slow fashion, I have listed some of my personal favourite places to find the various types of sustainable thread available.

Biodegradable threads

Coats – EcoRegen, is a biodegradable thread made from 100% lyocell. This is a renewable fibre made from wood pulp that’s sourced directly from sustainably managed forests.

Organic cotton thread 

I personally prefer to use Scanfil for the clothes I make at home. And I will continue to advocate for their luscious organic cotton. Their cotton is free of chemicals or pesticides, and they continue to focus on creating cotton using methods that put their employees and the environment first. 

Recycled threads  

Make sure to explore AMANN’s wide range of recycled threads; all of which are made from 100% recycled PET bottles. These threads are high-quality and soft on the skin. Choose recycled thread when you’re working with synthetic fibres.

If you are looking for additional support and guidance in terms of locating and sourcing sustainable threads, I have created a pretty elaborate guide to sourcing sustainable fabric suppliers here.

What to look for when sourcing sustainable threads and materials?

Don’t get overwhelmed by the information you find online, here is my advice for sustainably sourcing your materials, ask yourself these questions:

1- What is the material made from? 

Do a little extra digging to figure out if the material or thread you’re buying is organic, recycled or biodegradable. You could even go so far as to research how the material or threads were produced. 

2- How has the thread or material been dyed? 

The clothing dyeing process can be heavily laced with chemicals. Make sure to look for threads and materials that have been undyed or naturally dyed if possible. 

3- Stick to similar fibres.For example, as a general rule of thumb, I use 100% cotton thread for sewing cotton fabric and recycled PET thread when working with rPET polyester. This makes the garments a lot easier to recycle.

4-Avoid threads that are blended.  Avoid materials like cotton wrapped in polyester, as this is more difficult to recycle and is not biodegradable. 

Sustainable fashion isn’t just a trend, it should become the standard

Sustainable threads and fabrics allow us to create clothing that not only reduces our impact on the environment but is also mindful of the people who produce the garments. 

We’ve become too focused on instant gratification and forgotten about the impact our choices can have on our planet and our fellow humans and animals. 

If you’re as passionate as I am about all things fashion, organic and sustainable, explore some of my other articles on my blog, it’s here to assist you in your slow fashion journey.   

Also don’t forget to check out my natural dyeing workshop to DIY at home or explore my natural dyeing services for sustainable brands that want to take a leap towards their commitment to the planet.