eco friendly alternative to polyester

Here is a detailed post about Eco Friendly Alternative To Polyester. So, if you have been searching for recycled polyester, sustainable fabrics or other keywords online, then this article is dedicated to you. It contains nylon alternatives. Read on to enjoy all these and more.

The clothes we wear and the textiles they are made from can damage the environment and make us sick. Good thing there are some eco-friendly alternatives. Check out these seven fabrics, courtesy of Green America:

nylon alternatives

Eco Friendly Alternative To Polyester

7 Eco-Friendly Fabrics That Will Green Your Wardrobe

1. Bamboo—Bamboo is a hardy, highly renewable grass and is generally grown with few chemical inputs. The fabric also has natural antibacterial properties, breathes and is biodegradable. However, toxic chemicals may be used to turn the plant into fabric. The Federal Trade Commission mandates that companies using this process label their products bamboo-based rayon.

Photo credit: ourbigearth.com

2. Organic cotton—More than 25 percent of the world’s pesticides are used in conventional cotton production. Organic cotton is grown without toxic, synthetic chemical inputs. Look for natural dyes or colored cotton to further reduce the amount of chemicals dumped into our ecosystem.

3. Industrial hemp—Hemp is rapidly renewable, requires little or no pesticides, grows without fertilizer, requires minimum attention, doesn’t deplete soil nutrients and is easy to harvest. 

4. Recycled polyester—This fiber is made from cast-off polyester fabric and soda bottles, resulting in a carbon footprint that is 75 percent lower than virgin polyester. Recycled polyester contains toxic antimony, but some companies are working on removing it from their fabrics.

5. Soy cashmere/silk—This fabric is made from soy protein fiber left over after processing soybeans into food. The soy may be genetically engineered unless noted on the label.

6. Tencel—Tencel is made from natural cellulose wood pulp and is fully biodegradable. It uses Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood pulp and less-toxic chemicals in a closed-loop process.

7. W00l—Wool is renewable, fire-resistant and doesn’t need chemical inputs. Look for chlorine-free wool from humanely-treated animals. Organic wool is increasingly becoming available: it is produced using sustainable farming practices and without toxic sheep dips.

Even these choices are not clear-cut, says The Nature Conservancy. These types of fabric represent positive change, but have drawbacks. Clothes production in general has environmental impact, including:

  • Energy—It takes agricultural energy to produce natural fibers and mining or processing for synthetic fabrics. Energy also is needed for production, processing and shipping of the fabric and finished product.
  • Toxic chemicalsPesticides, dyes and bleaches and chemical processing are used for fibers like bamboo or rayon.
  • Land/natural resources—Natural fibers can require large areas for production and synthetic ones typically require petrochemicals.
  • Water—Nearly all fabrics require some water use during production, with cotton requiring the most.

The way you use clothing can make an enormous environmental difference—as much as the type of fabric, The Nature Conservancy says. 

Since all textile manufacturing has a fairly hefty impact, wearing what you already have for a longer time is one of the best and easiest things you can do to make your clothing more eco-friendly.

Other ways include buying used clothes, recycling what doesn’t fit and repairing damaged clothes rather than throwing them away.

sustainable fabrics

What Is Textile Recycling?

Textile recycling is the process by which old clothing and other textiles are recovered for reuse or material recovery. It is the basis for the textile recycling industry. In the United States, this group is represented by SMART, the Association of Wiping Materials, Used Clothing and Fiber Industries. The necessary steps in the textile recycling process involve the donation, collection, sorting and processing of textiles, and then subsequent transportation to end users of used garments, rags or other recovered materials.& https://710178e6f37e473cca0c51d07c5df8a5.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.htmlnbsp;https://710178e6f37e473cca0c51d07c5df8a5.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

The basis for the growing textile recycling industry is, of course, the textile industry itself. The textile industry has evolved into a nearly $1 trillion industry globally, comprising clothing, as well as furniture and mattress material, linens, draperies, cleaning materials, leisure equipment, and many other items.1 

The Urgency to Recycle Textiles

The importance of recycling textiles is increasingly being recognized. An estimated 100 billion garments are produced annually, worldwide.2 According to U.S. EPA, around 17 million tons of textile municipal solid waste (MSW) was generated in 2018, about 5.8% of total MSW generation. The recycling rate for textiles derived from clothing and footwear was 13.0%, while the recovery for sheets and pillowcases was 15.8% for the same year.3 As such, textile recycling is a significant challenge to be addressed as we strive to move closer to a zero landfill society.

Once in landfills, natural fibers can take a few weeks to a few years to decompose.4 They may release methane and CO2 gas into the atmosphere. Additionally, synthetic textiles are designed not to decompose. In the landfill, they may release toxic substances into groundwater and surrounding soil.5

Textile recycling offers the following environmental benefits:

  • Decreases landfill space requirements, bearing in mind that synthetic fiber products do not decompose and that natural fibers may release greenhouse gasses
  • Avoided use of virgin fibers
  • Reduced consumption of energy and water
  • Pollution avoidance
  • Lessened demand for dyes.

Sources of Textiles for Recycling

Textiles for recycling are generated from two primary sources. These sources include:
1. Post-consumer, including garments, vehicle upholstery, household items and others.
2. Pre-consumer, including scrap created as a by-product from yarn and fabric manufacture, as well as the post-industrial scrap textiles from other industries.

The donation of old garments is supported by non-profit as well as many corporate programs, including those of Nike and Patagonia.

Wearable and Reused Textiles

In the European Union, about 50% of collected textiles are recycled and about 50% are reused. Approximately 35% of donated clothes are turned into industrial rags. Most of the reused clothing is exported to other countries.6 Oxam, a British charitable organization, estimates 70% of their clothing donations end up in Africa.7 The issue of sending used clothing to Africa has generated some degree of controversy as to the benefits of such initiatives, where it can have an adverse impact on local textile industries, native dress, and local waste generation.

The Recycling Process 

For the basics of recycling, read my article, How Clothing Recycling Works. For textiles to be recycled, there are fundamental differences between natural and synthetic fibers. For natural textiles:

  • The incoming unwearable material is sorted by type of material and color. Color sorting results in a fabric that does not need to be re-dyed. The color sorting means no re-dying is required, saving energy and avoiding pollutants.
  • Textiles are then pulled into fibers or shredded, sometimes introducing other fibers into the yarn. Materials are shredded or pulled into fibers. Depending on the end use of the yarn, other fibers may be incorporated.
  • The yarn is then cleaned and mixed through a carding process
  • Then the yarn is re-spun and ready for subsequent use in weaving or knitting. 
  • Some fibers are not spun into yards, however. Some are compressed for textile filling such as in mattresses.

In the case of polyester-based textiles, garments are shredded and then granulated for processing into polyester chips. These are subsequently melted and used to create new fibers for use in new polyester fabrics.

Beyond Recycling, Shop Sustainably

As society becomes more familiar with the hazards associated with sending old textiles to the landfill, and as new recycling technologies develop, it can be anticipated that the textile recycling industry will continue to grow. At the same time, watch for trends such as slow fashion to draw continued attention to the interplay of clothing and sustainability. The fast fashion industry generates considerable pollution and a sizeable negative impact on climate change. Consumers can help affect change by choosing clothing brands that last longer and which demonstrate a commitment to reducing their climate change impact.

BEST SITES LIKE ALIEXPRESS FOR ONLINE SHOPPING

AliExpress is a massively popular Chinese online retail service owned by Alibaba Group. It was launched in 2010 and hasn’t stopped its journey to becoming the ‘biggest online marketplace of the world‘ ever-since. AliExpress stands toe-to-toe even with Amazon in terms of buyers worldwide. It offers wholesale goods at direct-to-consumer prices from Chinese sellers.

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It also works as a great dropshipping model for a lot of e-commerce entrepreneurs. Along with a lot of good sides, AliExpress has some cons as well. The biggest problem is the shipping time of AliExpress orders, which is pretty long considering the goods come from China. Also, some orders can be very expensive after shipping charges and taxes.

So, it is a good thing to have some AliExpress alternatives whenever you don’t like its services. That’s why we are telling you about 21 best sites like AliExpress. Some of these websites offer cheaper prices and faster shipping on certain products. And, you can also use them to maintain a nice profit margin for your dropshipping business.

1. LIGHTINTHEBOX

LightInTheBox is the perfect AliExpress alternative as it is also a Chinese e-Store. It sells hot and trending products across the globe. Their products range from phone and electronics to fashion, jewelry, shoes, bags, and many other items. You can find almost anything here at a very cheap price.

The delivery time of LightInTheBox is also similar to AliExpress as their warehouses are located only in China. But, you may get a faster shipping time due to having fewer orders to ship. You can pay for your orders with PayPal, Western Union, or your credit card.

2. WISH

Wish is a widely popular online marketplace where you can buy almost anything. From clothing to footwear, electronics, healthcare items, and many more things, you can get them all for an incredibly cheap price. They are also known to offer great deals and coupons to their new customers.

Their shipping time is also faster than AliExpress as their products come from sellers located in small countries. Wish also provides an advanced rating system that is very helpful for both the consumers as well as sellers. It helps promote good ones.

3. OVERSTOCK

Overstock is a US-based online marketplace. It makes profit by selling wholesale products at a highly cheap price tag. A major portion of their stock is comprised of overstock from the major retailers or their seconds. You can find some really amusing deals here. The shipping time will also be lower as compared to the Chinese marketplaces. You can get your items within a week.

The product range of Overstock is incredible. You can find everything such as clothing, decor, kitchen appliances, and many more items. You can even find furniture and other big home items. So, you can use to fill your house with great stuff at a reduced price.

4. DEALEXTREME (DX)

DealeXtreme, more popularly known as DX, is an amazing online marketplace. The website works in a very similar manner as ‘Wish’ and sells cheap products coming directly from sellers. It has partnered with many small businesses and sells its products to a wide base of audience.

The shipping time is a problem with DX also because their warehouses are located in China. Apart from this, you can get some really worthy deals on DX. You should always keep an eye on their clearance sales for the best prices.

5. GEARBEST

Gearbest is the perfect AliExpress alternative if you are looking to shop for the latest gadgets or electronic devices. It works with over 5000 Chinese brands and top suppliers to deliver the best products. It has products from top Chinese companies such as Xiaomi, Huawei, Lenovo, and many others. But, it isn’t just an electronic store.

You can also find a massive range of other products as well. The prices available on GearBest are reduced, and you can even reduce them with the available coupons. They also have warehouses in multiple countries. So, you can get faster shipping from the local warehouse.

6. BANGGOOD

BangGood is another Chinese e-commerce platform that provides worldwide shipping of cheap goods. You can find almost anything on this website, from clothing to electronics, and even home items. The prices available are marked down from their original prices. You can also get amazing deals during special clearance sales.

BangGood provides a free $20 coupon to every new user. The shipping time for BangGood orders is faster than AliExpress for certain products. However, the regular shipping time is similar.

7. CHINABRANDS

ChinaBrands is a widely popular Chinese e-Store where you can buy products at wholesale prices. You can find almost anything on this website at a highly affordable price. Their shipping prices are also low but you will get a long shipping time. It is the perfect website for buyers who want the lowest prices but can wait for their orders for at least a month.

Most of the ChinaBrands sellers run their factories from China, and their warehouses are located there only. This is the reason for the considerably long shipping time.

8. BONANZA

Bonanza is a unique American online marketplace where you can find a great range of products. They have over 20 million items from more than 50,000 sellers. It is a growing e-commerce store where even you can sell your items. It is a preferred platform by more than 20,000 entrepreneurial sellers. You can find some really amazing handcrafted items and collectibles here.

For people looking to shop regular items, this store may disappoint you a little. The prices of some items may be a little higher than some Chinese stores. But, the quality provided will be worth it.

21 ALIEXPRESS ALTERNATIVE STORES

Here are 21 AliExpress Alternatives that you can use to shop online.

  1. LightInTheBox
  2. Wish
  3. Overstock
  4. DealXtreme (DX)
  5. GearBest
  6. BangGood
  7. ChinaBrands
  8. Bonanza
  9. DHGate
  10. TinyDeal
  11. Target
  12. MiniInTheBox
  13. GeekBuying
  14. Jet
  15. TomTop
  16. Target
  17. MadeInChina
  18. American Greenwood
  19. Walmart
  20. eBay
  21. Amazon

FINAL TAKE

AliExpress is amazing but it is always good to have options when you are shopping. So, these are the 21 best sites like AliExpress. If you ever feel like you should look somewhere else, these are some stores that you should visit. You can also use these for your dropshipping business if you are an aspiring entrepreneur. Make sure you have a solid plan before beginning.

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