The best biodegradable fabric will decompose naturally and quickly in the earth instead of taking years. What makes a textile biodegradable? Determined by the amount of chemicals used in the life cycle of the textile, a biodegradable fabric will take less time to degrade with fewer negative environmental effects, compared to other fabrics that use a high amount of chemicals.
In recent years, the textile and apparel sectors have contributed 20% to global production waste, with 30% of microplastics found in the ocean attributed to the textile industry. Eco-friendly fabrics are not the same as biodegradable fabrics. While a fabric might be eco-friendly, meaning that it uses less water consumption in manufacturing, or produces less overall waste or greenhouse gas emissions, a biodegradable textile will naturally decompose in the earth from bacteria and other living organisms found in the soil, without leaving behind any additional toxins. Many biodegradable fabrics are extremely durable with anti-rot properties, and are often used as a thin layer of soil to prevent unwanted weed growth.
Best Biodegradable Textiles
Yes, organic cotton is different than cotton! Organic cotton is a natural, plant-based fiber that’s durable, breathable, and versatile. At Commercial Supply Co., we purchase cotton in bulk rolls so our clients’ needs can be met more efficiently for agricultural, industrial, home, and lawn care use. While both regular and organic cotton use a large amount of water in their manufacturing processes, organic cotton is made without pesticides or fertilizer, and is processed without the use of any chemicals. Because of the low amount of chemicals in organic cotton, this fabric will take 1-5 months to biodegrade.
Found most often in apparel and home goods, linen is a plant-based textile made from flax. This all-natural fabric is incredibly biodegradable as it’s both cultivated and processed without any chemicals at all. Biodegrade time: as little as two weeks.
Burlap is one of the most eco-friendly textiles available. Made from jute, an incredibly strong fiber, burlap becomes softer over time, speeding up the time it takes to biodegrade. Requiring much less water than cotton, burlap is also considered an eco-friendly fabric. Burlap is also a carbon negative raw material, which means that it actually absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere. At Commercial Supply Co., our burlap is an excellent for all agricultural and municipal applications. Customized from bulk burlap rolls, we specialize in burlap bags, paving covers, nursery covers, landscape fabric, and more. Thanks to its naturally sun-protective and antimicrobial properties, burlap is an excellent option to prevent weed growth in gardens, and will biodegrade in 1-4 months.
Among the least biodegradable textiles available are acrylic, polyester, and rayon. These textiles are less sustainable than other eco-friendly fabrics that use less water, chemicals, and fertilizers in the growing, cultivation, and manufacturing processes.
When you’re in need of biodegradable burlap fabric, Commercial Supply Co. is your go-to source for customizable paving covers, nursery covers, burlap bags, landscaping fabric, and more. Contact us for a quote today.