Natural Fibers – How They Benefit Both You and The Environment

Quality matters. If you state that something is of high quality you expect a degree of excellence, something superior. In most cases, quality items are made to last or have some other redeeming benefit. Natural fibers provide you with quality, help the environment, and help local farmers.

There has been a growing concern lately over synthetic clothing such as polyester and spandex. Consider what synthetics are made of: polyester’s base is oil and spandex is a synthetic polymer. Evidence is mounting that synthetic clothing releases plastic into the water supply through waste from the washing machine. Not only does this plastic potentially harm marine life, it is theorized that it is also working its way up the food chain to humans. No one wants to accidentally digest chemicals. And let’s face it – no one boasts that their shirt is made of acrylic.

A natural fiber is derived from plants or animals. Some common natural fibers are cotton (preferably organic), wool, silk, alpaca, mohair and jute. They are what our ancestors wore (some fibers that we commonly wear today were reserved for royalty ). Natural fibers tend to breathe more than synthetics. While natural fibers may sometimes cost more than synthetic fibers, in the long run they are well worth the extra money.

If you are environmentally conscientious, natural fibers are a great way to make both an investment in your wardrobe and your lifestyle. The materials you purchase as a consumer help determine whether businesses are more environmentally friendly. As more and more consumers see the benefits of sustainable products, more companies choose to produce them.

There are many natural fibers, like alpaca, that are long lasting. I have had customers relay to me that they have owned alpaca sweaters for 40 years. Natural fibers are also very fashionable. Long gone are the days of grandma patterns for natural fibers. Many top designers are using them.

As an alpaca farmer at Lilymoore Farm, I see first-hand the benefits of natural fibers. For instance alpaca is warmer than wool, hypo-allergenic, naturally water resistant, odor resistant, flame resistant and it is a renewable fiber. Alpacas are shorn only one time per year. Our alpacas are currently creating your next sock, or scarf or sweater. Alpacas easily adapt to a large variety of climates, are gentle to the grass, and are lovely to look at. They are a sustainable crop

For thousands of years, mankind has worn natural fibers. Synthetics are relatively new in the clothing arena and can take decades to break down. Natural fibers, on the other hand, biodegrade relatively quickly when they reach the landfill. If you are considering becoming environmentally friendly, natural fibers are a great way to start. When you purchase natural fibers not only are you cutting down on carbon emissions, you are also helping support farmers that grow or raise these sources of fiber. When you purchase them locally, you help farms in your area while supporting local agriculture. This creates sustainability in local area farms. Make a difference in your world, switch to natural fibers.