Five Benefits of Linen | A Sustainable Fashion Fabric
Linen has been receiving a lot of hype lately! It’s back in the major retailers and you might be wondering what all of the fuss is about. What are the benefits of linen?
Yes linen does love to wrinkle. But it is also uber-luxe and lightweight with a suite of environmental benefits. It’s the perfect fashion fabric for coastal dwellers because it looks effortlessly cool, while being soft, breathable and strong. As more fashion lovers become environmentally aware, they are choosing to wear linen for its beauty and eco-friendliness!
Not convinced on this sustainable natural fabric yet?
Here are five benefits of linen!
Linen is a biodegradable fabric that won’t clog up landfill.
Linen is a natural fibre, which means that it will degrade away at the end of its life. Natural fibres come from the environment, whereas synthetic fibres like polyester are types of plastic and are derived from fossil fuels (a finite world resource).
Once you part ways with a linen garment, it will break down into harmless compounds that don’t accumulate in the environment.
It returns to nature, enriches the soil and encourages new life. On the other hand, products made from synthetic fabrics can take 30-40 years to degrade, and clog up landfills in the meantime.
Not to mention the microfibers that shed from polyester in the wash. Polyester garments are guilty of releasing microfibers in the washing machine. These tiny plastic fibres are polluting our oceans and poisoning our sea life by being mistaken as food.
Linen avoids the problem of micro synthetic fibre pollution. Its natural properties also allow less frequent, lower impact washing and greater durability. That means you can wash linen less and love it for longer!
It is soft, breathable and antibacterial.
Linen is the perfect summer fabric. Anyone who has worn it will be able to tell you that it’s ultra-breathable and cool to wear.
Often referred to as nature’s moisture wicking fabric- it interacts very well with our bodies!
- Its molecular structure allows it to absorb 1/5 of its body weight before feeling damp. Combine that with high heat conductivity (5x more than wool and 18x more than silk) and you’ve got the magic formula for sweating less!
- Linen even gains strength when it gets wet and has a natural ability to prevent microbes! In fact, Ancient Egyptians wore linen for its ability to keep them cool and repel microorganisms! It has even been known to sooth some skin conditions.
- The composition and loose weave of linen also allows for air flow and heat conductivity. Linen also drapes away from your body and won’t cling to your skin.
- It is a bast fibre, and contains a natural resin called lignin (this is what causes it to be crisp and wrinkle easily). However, the more you wear linen, the softer it becomes over time. It eventually has a soft, effortless, fluid drape as the wrinkles become smooth. (That’s better than stretching and sagging over time, right?)
It really is an essential lightweight fabric for our subtropical climate!
Linen comes from flax- a sustainable super-crop.
Linen is produced from the flax plant. Unlike other crops, every single part of the flax plant is used for other purposes! You might also be familiar with flaxseeds and linseed oil, some other bi-products of flax production. They have huge health benefits thanks to their richness in omega-3 fatty acids!.
That means it leaves no waste. Flax also grows naturally and does not require chemicals to be processed into textile (it’s so sustainable it hurts!).
Flax has been a source of food, well being and luxury textile manufacture since the ancient times! However, it was in the Industrial Revolution that its popularity was replaced by oil-based, crease resistant fibres like polyester. Linen struggled to compete with crease resistant, cheaply mass produced synthetics.
Every fabric has its pros and cons and we all have to choose which fabrics suit our lifestyles for ourselves. However, it sure is great news that people are cottoning on to all of the environmental benefits of linen again.
It uses minimal resources to grow.
Flax fibres are so sought after because they are recyclable, biodegradable and carbon positive! Yes, they actually absorb more carbon dioxide in the growth phase than they release during processing! Flax is also resilient and is able to grow on the majority of soils. In contrast to many other fibres like cotton, flax does not require pesticides and copious amounts of water to grow!
Flax is a productive crop and requires little space. It has a high yield and is gentle on our land. Linen has been used since ancient times, serving as a testament to its sustainability and longevity.
Linen is a strong fabric that lasts!
Linen is the world’s strongest natural fibre. The fibres come directly from the stalk of the flax plant. They are also longer and thicker than those in other fabrics like cotton. That means that linen fashion lasts. You might spend a little bit more , but you save money in the long run (one of my favourite benefits of linen!). Get behind this linen for it’s sustainability, strength and comfort.
There are so many benefits of linen- It’s the ultimate eco-luxury textile.
Want more tips on how to build a sustainable wardrobe? Check out how to create a minimalists wardrobe in 5 easy steps!