Sustainable Alternative Textiles
– Re-posted from Christina Mogk, MECC Interiors –
Creating healthier homes goes well beyond purifying the indoor air and using zero VOC paints. Sustainable alternative textiles conserve resources and avoid petroleum-based fibres. These sustainable fibres can be completely broken down. They also have a healing effect on the wearer and the environment.
What does this have to do with your home? How many textiles are in your home? Go ahead…mentally count them. All of your upholstered furniture, your draperies, pillows, bedding, and throw blankets.
Most of the fabrics in our homes are created using chemicals and lots of water. If cleaner, healthier alternatives exist, would you not prefer to use them?
Spent Coffee Grounds
Coffee and sustainable alternative textiles aren’t two things that most of us would group together. But every day around the world, we consume more than two billion cups of coffee. That results in about six million tonnes of used coffee grounds sent to landfills annually. Instead of sending those used coffee grounds to landfills, companies are starting to create fabrics.
S. Café® technology, with a low-temperature, high-pressure and energy-saving process, combines coffee grounds onto the yarn surface, changing the characteristics of the filament, and offers up to 200% faster drying time compared to cotton.
Banana stems have been used to make fibres for centuries. In 13th century Japanese and South Asian cultures, it was a common material choice. Its popularity declined as the likes of cotton and silk took over.
While the inner strands are smooth and fine, the outer strands are coarser. These fibres can be processed into a hand similar to anything from bamboo, to hemp, to linen. Some fibres are thick and coarse enough for basket weaving, which can be used for baskets and accessories.
Apples are used in the creation of a lot of juices, both within our homes and elsewhere. Rather than sending the pulp waste to the garbage, it can be transformed into a leather-like material.
Many companies are producing sustainable alternative textiles from apple waste. With increasing frequency, apple leather is found in items like handbags and shoes. If it’s durable enough for walking around the city, odds are good that it could be used on a favourite chair or sofa.
The centuries-old tradition of making a leather-like substance out of mushrooms has been revived because mushroom leather is organic, gluten- and chemical-free, and has a marbled, velvety surface. It also has highly absorbing, antibacterial and antiseptic properties, is light, and has an insulating effect at the same time.
Like apple leather, there’s definite crossover potential into our homes.