It’s been a while since I’ve shared a post about a sustainable material so I’m rectifying this with today’s eco choice: linen post! I’m going to explore linen’s eco credentials as well as any downsides and I’d love to hear your thoughts on linen as well!
What’s the eco-deal with linen?
Linen is made from the flax plant, which is a naturally eco-friendly plant as it requires little-to-no pesticides to grow. Basically all of the plant is used when harvested which means there is no real waste, and when left untreated it is even biodegradable. Its natural colours include ivory, tan and grey so it doesn’t really need to be dyed, and it is also stronger than cotton, as well as being moth resistant. Pretty impressive stuff!
Linen even gets both stronger and softer with washing and wearing, making it long-lasting and durable which means you need to replace linen items much less often. The plant itself is also pretty hardy and can be grown in fairly poor soils and requires less water to grow than cotton.
Are there any downsides
Linen as a fabric doesn’t have a whole lot of downsides, however you do need to be careful of cheap, chemically treated or blended linens, or those not dyed using natural dyes. It’s almost impossible to get pure-white linen without some serious bleaching, so be aware of that too.
One of the biggest reasons that linen hasn’t completely taken over the fashion world is that is creases incredibly easily, which requires either lots of ironing or being okay with some wrinkles in your clothes. There are some linen blends available that are a combination of linen and cotton, so as long as the cotton is organic then you’ll get a less-wrinkly item without taking much of a hit on the eco-front. Linen clothing is generally pretty pricey, but given that it is durable, breathable and gets better with age it is worth the investment if you can!
Where is it used?
Linen has been used for thousands of years so it’s not surprisingly that it has a few uses around the home! Some of the most common are:
- Tablecloths and serviettes
- Tea towels
- Bed Sheets (how beautiful do these ones look!)
- Clothing (particularly pants, shirts and dresses)
Some brands that regularly have linen clothing choices and also have a great ethical rating include:
- Eva-Cassis – bonus points for it being an Australian company
- Country Road
I’d love to hear about any ethical brands that use linen you know about too!