Sustainable Materials

Biosynthetics

All the benefits of conventional synthetics without the dependency on fossil fuels? Or, all the impacts of natural fibers without many of their sustainability benefits? Too early to say.

By SUSTON

Cellulosics

Viscose, Rayon, Lyocell – there’s many names for these semisynthetic plant-based fibers, and many more methods to manufacture them. This makes impact generalizations difficult.

By SUSTON

Cotton and Organic Cotton

Natural, renewable, recyclable – cotton has the potential to be an excellent choice for sustainable apparel. But conventional cotton’s chemical inputs are enormous relative to other fibers, meaning its potential is only realized with organic practices.

By SUSTON

Down

A natural, recyclable and biodegradable material with incredible thermal and compression values, down is almost too good to be true – were it not for animal welfare issues.

By SUSTON

Hemp

When compared to other natural fibers in terms of water and chemicals inputs as well as durability, hemp’s sustainability credentials are unmatched – but can it prove it?

By SUSTON

Leather

The incredible durability and repairability of leather results in a lifespan measured in decades. When properly sourced, it can also be humane and have a low environmental impact.

By SUSTON

Polycotton

A blend of polyester and cotton – a match made in heaven say some as the two fibers can have complimentary sustainability profiles. End-of-life recycling? Not quite yet.

By SUSTON

Recycled Nylon

The oldest synthetic fiber and one of the most durable, properly sourced Nylon fiber’s sustainability potential is promising – if recycling becomes widespread.

By SUSTON

Recycled Polyester

With virtually no land, water, animal, or agrochemical impacts, polyester has always been a low-impact material. Recycled polyester takes this a step further – but still has its challenges.

By SUSTON

Vegan Leather

Materials with dramatically lower impacts than leather and no animal welfare issues, vegan leathers are in demand. But can they match leather’s durability?

By SUSTON

Wool

A natural fiber with characteristics synthetics still can’t match, properly sourced wool’s sustainability credentials can make it a true wonder material – if it can reduce its climate impacts.

By SUSTON

Material Guide Sponsors

Committed to Sustainability

Ternua transforms abandoned fishing nets, plastic sea garbage, walnut shells and wool waste from sheep native to the Basque Country into technical and sustainable outdoor clothing.

By Ternua

Swedish Pine Trees, Reinvented

As part of its efforts to phase out fossil materials, Fjällräven uses a wood-based fabric for the new Tree-Kånken collection.

By Fjällräven

Recycling Ropes, Reducing CO2

Mammut and Protect Our Winters Switzerland are helping to make mountain sports even more sustainable. With the project “Close the Loop” they give climbing ropes a new life.

By Mammut

A Second Life for a Second Skin

Sympatex is one of the worldwide leading producers of sustainable functional textiles. To reach its next ambitious goal – becoming 100 percent circular by 2030 – the company is pushing for collaboration within the textile industry.

By SympaTex

Keen Launches Upcycling Certification Program

The first upcycling certification program to reduce industrial waste, the Harvest Certification creates a platform for transparency to make it easier for consumers to both identify and make environmental choices.

By Keen

Sustainability Topics

Flourocarbons

PFCs, PFOAs, PFOs and now PTFEs – what exactly do all these acronyms mean, and why have they been getting so much attention?

By SUSTON

Microplastics and Microfibers

In less than a century, the versatility and affordability of plastic has found applications just about everywhere we look today. Unfortunately, it is also everywhere we would rather not find it.

By SUSTON

Material Guide Sponsors