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Eco-friendly sewing

eco-friendly sewingImage by Foundry Co from Pixabay

Sewing is an art that people make using fabrics and threads. Whether it’s dresses, curtains, or crafts, when you make them on your own, it brings a different level of satisfaction and uniqueness that defines your talent and taste. That’s why much of sewing is not only something they do, it’s their passion. However, even though this passion seems quite innocent, it causes a threat to the environment when people waste a lot of materials which in turn affects the environment and produces unwanted waste. Question is.. is there eco-friendly sewing?

So, here are a few ways you can practice eco-friendly sewing. Just remember, even if you are one of those who does sewing only occasionally, your sewing habit matters too.

Environmental Threats and Solutions

Most fabric manufacturing damages our environment in many ways in every step of their development. 

Fibers of the fabrics are produced from different sources depending on the targeted fabric type. Such as plants, animals, and crude oil. Regardless of their sources, each of the production procedures involves practices that are severely harming our environment.

Fiber Production: Cotton

Cotton yarns are made from fluffy cotton balls that are mostly grown in China and India, using a huge amount of fertilizers and pesticides during their cultivation, which in turn greatly pollute the land, air, and water of the area near it. 

It is also responsible for huge water consumption since the cultivation relies heavily on intense irrigation, and the procedures that are involved in processing the raw fibers are also known to consume a lot of energy while producing the yarns. 

Man-made Cellulosics

Some fabrics are made from renewable materials such as bamboo and eucalyptus. Fabrics like rayon, viscose, lyocell, and bamboo, etc. are made from these sources. 

Producing yarns from this type of renewable material requires less energy and growing plants like bamboo is also less water consuming.

Although, even though these are safer options, a human’s greed makes them unsafe, since they tend to cut natural forests to grow these plants for economical benefits.

Eco-friendly Solution for Plant Sources

Thankfully Australia now produces Eco-friendly cotton, that uses no pesticides or fertilizers and practices water-conservation. The procedure also requires less energy to transform raw fibers into fine yarns. 

You can also go for fabrics like linen that are made of flax and hemp. The process of growing these plants involves less water consumption and uses less pesticide as well.  

Be aware of the cotton sources of the apparel you are buying or making. Opt for Eco-friendly cotton to inspire Eco-friendly sewing.


Polyester is the most common of all synthetic fabrics. Besides, there are nylon, acrylic, and elastane. All of these fibers are made using fossil fuels by a high power-consuming process. 

Eco-friendly Solution for Synthetic Sources

Although most of these fabrics are still made from non-renewable sources, now-a-day, we have polyesters that are made from recycled plastic bottles which have reduced the use of fossil fuels. 

Sewing using these synthetic fibers and fabrics are rather an Eco-friendly step to take towards our environment.

It is also believed that, in the coming days, polyester fabric manufacturing will be all about recycling materials forming a closed-loop system.


Produced from renewable or non-renewable sources, all synthetic fabrics affect our environment as we use them. Significantly, as we wash our polyester clothes, they release microfibers into the water, which as a result pollutes our oceans traveling into waterways.


Wool, like cotton and other textiles, takes a lot of water and energy to produce and to transform it to its commercial look. 

On top of that, since wool comes from animals, it involves farming that harmfully impacts our environment by degrading the land due to soil compaction, erosion, overgrazing, and reduction of organic matter from the soil. Farming is also causing deforestation, which is a big problem.

Eco-friendly Solution for Woolen Sources

The only Eco-friendly way of using the woolen fabric is to reserve our tendency of buying them anew. Rather if we used recycled wool to make our products, it can have a positive impact by shrinking the need for farming for a new batch of wools. 


Dyes are made of chemicals that are harmful to the environment and pollutes our water as these chemical wastes are mixing into waterways. 

Moreover, dyeing itself is the most energy-consuming technique of the whole manufacturing procedure and produces 36 percent of total greenhouse gas emitted during the complete textile manufacturing and finishing process. 

Eco-friendly Solution for Fabric Dyeing

A lot of brands are trying to initiate a zero-discharge policy to stop chemical waste to get dumped into the water causing huge water pollution.

Also, new technologies are being invented to lessen energy consumption, like cold pad-batch dyeing which used cold water to bring down the energy requirements. 

How to Practice Eco-friendly Sewing 

With all the odds you can still take part in making our environment a little better by practicing eco-friendly sewing . 

1. Choose Your Fabrics Wisely

Support organic fabric industries by buying and using organic cotton. Also, use recycled wool, and limit the use of synthetic fabrics.

2. Use Organic Dyes

You, being a creative sewing person can also help the environment by using natural dyes to color your textiles if needed. They look aesthetic, good for your skin and are good for our planet as well.

3. Save Your Scraps and Reuse

Don’t dump your extra textile materials into the trash. Reuse them for patchworks, covering buttons, and making frills and piping. You can also use small pieces to stuff inside your hand made stuffed toys and pillows. 

You can also think a little creative and make unconventional ornaments with your scraps.  

4. Get Upcycled Materials

Use second-hand dresses as your material source to take down the pressure of producing new materials for sewing. 

These products can provide you with rather fine and fabulous fabrics, buttons, embroideries, bids and laces to reuse for making something new and amazing. 

They are the greatest and cheapest option for your dress and craft materials which can be easily found in your nearby thrift store. 

5. Be Creative in Designing

Design dresses that can be worn in different ways to reduce monotony and the craving of having many clothes. There are a myriad of designs you can embroider in the clothes to make them look stylish. 

So it’s a great idea to have your own embroidery machine so that you can let your creative juices flow. If you want to save a bunch of money getting the embroidery machine you can check out Black Friday embroidery machine deals for great options to buy the embroidery machines.


It is our responsibility to take care of our planet. We need to ensure that we are leaving a sustainable livable planet for the next generation. So we must conserve the earth’s resources wherever and whenever possible. Sewing, which is an enjoyable pastime for many of us can also be done in an eco-friendly manner by following the steps above. So be responsible and happy sewing! 

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

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