Recycled Polyester, Organic Cotton or Hemp – Which Is The Most Eco-Friendly Fiber?


We all know by now that organic is significantly better than conventional. Of course, in the event the eco-revolution started with organic food, nowadays we have a selection in every part of life including clothing. There are many very good reasons to choose organic clothing that individuals nearly never ask ourselves that fiber is indeed green. Might it be possible a synthetic fiber to become better for the environment than an organic one? Let’s have closer glance at some of the popular green fibers – organic cotton, organic hemp and recycled polyester, and find out howmuch green they’re.

Organic cotton farmers save money on production by reducing the elevated costs associated with chemical processing as well as avoid workers’ damage, water contamination and degradation of soil nutrients.

It really is one of the very environmentally favorable plants. It’s pest resistant – no pesticides are needed. Furthermore, when hemp is grown in spinning, it has been proven to decrease the pests in future plants. Hemp is increased so densely it kills the other plants round as a result of that no herbicides are required. In the end, hemp perhaps not only needs little if any fertilizers, however it also turns back most of the nourishment it takes from the soil. Therefore, as a result of its distinctive character, the changes demanded in the cultivation of hemp to make organic seeds really are minimal.

It’s carried out by used bottles. The recycling is mechanical or chemical. The former can be done just a few times until the dye gets good only for that landfill. The latter turns the yarn as beautiful and strong as the first polyester, however it is costly and rarely achieved. One other factor is that the antimony trioxide (carcinogen) which is released during the manufacture of recycled polyester. Antimony causes cancer in mice and its exposure is accumulative. Though it’s likely to the polymer while heated (like throughout the recycling process), we’re not absolutely sure that its presence within our recycled cotton clothing is 100% safe.

Energy & CO2 emissions

Since pesticides and insecticides have the effect of the majority of the energy employed in farming, organic techniques produce less carbon dioxide emissions. In this category, organic cotton is a winner requiring a bit less energy than organic hemp.

Recycled polyester is the very energy intensive fiber one of organic cotton and hemp. The next moment, when you buy a style tshirt from recycled cotton, be aware that it is made of approximately five plastic bottles. It is one very beautiful means to limit the total amount of plastics on earth, isn’t it?

Land use

Organic cotton requires energy to cultivate , however, the deficiency of artificial fertilizers along with the adoption of harvest rotation contributes to 20 to 50% lower yields. So, if organic cotton will be always to displace the creation of traditional cotton, then a greater land area will be required.

On the other hand, 1 acre of hemp will produce up to as 2-3 acres of cotton each year.

Water usage

1 big ecological drawback of cotton is really water use. Organic cotton, however, may go to extremes and use 5900 liters of water every kilogram of fiber in California to make two t shirts or even 80 liters in Brazil where organic cotton is mostly rain-fed.

Unlike cotton, cotton does not need a high water condition. This plant has deep roots, which enable it to benefit from the subsoil moisture, thereby requiring little if any watering.

Though difficult to compare, the water used in recycled cotton production is only a fraction of what is demanded in cotton production. Water is not an input during the recycling process. It’s principally used to wash the stained bits of plastic and to remove the debris and dirt.


The majority of the planet’s organic cotton has been grown in developing states. Before reaching the consumers in the West, it travels the entire world for manufacturing and processing. That is a major carbon footprint for you personally shirt!

Though, an individual can surely find organic cotton fiber made in USA, that is not true for hemp. Ergo, shipping costs substantially increase the ecologic footprint of hemp.


It’s wrinkle – psychologist – stain resistant. Its benefits include:

– less dirt, air and water contamination;

– less dependence on petroleum utilized in the creation of polyester;

– millions of plastic containers stored from the landfill each day and also less emissions from incinerators.

Yet, recycled cotton is not recyclable, unless the chemical recycling process can be used. There are just a few producers, multiplying Victor Innovatex, that make synthetic cloths (without using antimony!) Which are poisonous and are sterile (shut loop = the fiber never loses its value) too.

There will be always definite trade offs when choosing one fabric over another regardless of whether it is artificial or organic. But let’s consider the glass as half full and also appreciate the fact that by buying organic fabrics we vote for farmers that are healthy, good wages, clean water, outdoors, sweatshop-free production and also a lot more. On the flip , recycled cotton is a good try to”spare” the used plastic containers (at least for some time ) from the landfills, while searching for a reasonable means to fabricate synthetic fibers that are recyclable and recycled.

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