Textiles are soft, luxurious and yet are one of the biggest sources of the pollution problem on earth.
The industry causes 10% of the planet’s carbon footprint. Then the dyeing process adds another 17% of all industrial water pollution.
Read on to learn all about the benefits of eco-friendly towels, as well as seven reasons why you should only buy eco-friendly from now on.
What Is an Eco-Friendly Towel Material?
The fabric of any textile you buy (from bed linens to socks, shirts, and yes, towels) will determine how much environmental damage it causes.
Fabric choice impacts the way the raw material is sourced, the way it is processed, and what happens at the end of its lifecycle.
Fabric is a big polluter. It results in massive amounts of water usage, greenhouse gas emissions, soil degradation, rainforest destruction, and landfill waste.
The good news is that environmentally-friendly fabrics exist! Here is what you need to know about how to choose the best eco-friendly towels.
1. Various Types of Eco-Friendly Towels Exist
There are various types of eco-friendly towels. They are hypo-allergenic, perfect for sensitive skin, free of harsh dyes and chemicals, and good for the planet.
Here are a few of the most popular.
Bamboo is an excellent eco-friendly fabric. It is soft, stylish, and actually gets softer each time you wash it.
Also, bamboo is naturally good at moisture wicking. It is also a very absorbent fabric. So not only does it absorb lots of water, but it also is super soft.
Many bamboo towels also have anti-microbial properties. The downside of bamboo is that harsh chemicals are used to produce the fibers which then become difficult to break down when the towel is discarded.
Hemp is another excellent fabric choice for towels. It is lusciously thick and highly absorbent. This material is great for soaking moisture out of the skin.
Hemp towels get softer as they age and tend to last longer than other natural fibers.
Hemp towels are made from a blend of raw materials such as hemp, flax, and natural cotton.
Yes, there is a difference between cotton and organic cotton. Organic cotton is grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment.
It is grown without the use of toxic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.
For example, organic cotton is dyed using vegetable dyes instead of harsh chemicals. The tags and care labels are even made from recycled materials.
Linen (Flax Fiber)
Linen is a sustainable fabric made from flax fiber. It is spun from the long fibers found just behind the bark in the stem of the flax plant.
This fabric is two to three times stronger than cotton and dries at a much faster rate. It also antibacterial.
Now let's look at the benefits of shopping for eco-friendly towels.
2. Better for Your Skin
As you now know, the fabric you choose makes all the difference in the quality. Choosing these natural textiles is better for your skin.
Without the use of dyes and chemicals, you won't have to worry about having a reaction. These fabrics are also antibacterial to protect you from germs.
The moisture-wicking and quick-drying properties also are beneficial for your skin.
3. Certification Matters
One of the best ways to ensure that your eco-friendly towels really are eco-friendly is to check for third-party certification.
Proof of certification will give you peace of mind that you are purchasing the best eco-friendly towels possible.
The Global Organic Textile Standard certification ensures that 70% of the fibers in a textile are organic. This organization requires manufacturers to adhere to certain water and energy consumption standards as well.
The OEKO-TEX certification guarantees that materials have been tested to be ecologically sound and not harmful to human health.
The Global Recycle Standard verifies recycled content and requires good social, environmental, and chemical practices during production.
If your bath towels have one of these certifications, you can feel good about your purchase.
4. Supply Chain and Labor Practices You Can Get Behind
Part of being a sustainable, eco-friendly company means paying above fair wages. It also means the company is transparent about its supply chains.
As a consumer, you will know where the materials have been sourced, where the workers are located, and how they’re supported with safe and fair working conditions.
5. Green Business Practices
Many eco-friendly towel manufacturers use only reusable, compostable, or recyclable shipping materials. Some ship their products in mailers made from corn starch!
Often, companies will fully offset their carbon footprint due to shipping. This means that they either planted new trees or donated funds to green initiatives to counterbalance the carbon use.
Often, eco-friendly towels are made on handlooms. This means there are no machine emissions as a result.
6. Best End of Life
Have you ever wondered what happens to your clothing, linens, and towels when you throw them out?
For the most part, they end up in a landfill, leeching dyes and chemicals into the soil.
If you buy non-biodegradable fabrics (such as polyester, spandex, and nylon) can take up to 200 yearsfor the material to decompose.
Eco-friendly towels stop this vicious cycle by offering a longer lifespan which means you can use the same towel for longer. Then, once it has reached its end of life, you can often compost or recycle the towels.
7. Community and Charitable Giving
Another benefit of eco-friendly towels is that you can help make a difference to those in need with your purchase.
Often, these companies have systems in place to give back. This might include cleaning up plastic from the oceans, collecting unwanted clothing to benefit others, and so on.
Five Adrift is a leader in charitable giving. After their business expenses, they give 100% of their profitsto clean up plastic from our oceans.
Feel Good About Your Eco-Friendly Towels
Thanks for reading! Now you know all there is to know about the importance of choosing eco-friendly towels.
Remember, every person can make a substantial impact on the health of our planet.
Now, learn more about who we are and why we care.