A New Wave of Eco-friendly Fabrics

A New Wave of Eco-friendly Fabrics

In recent years we as a society have become increasingly aware of climate change and the impact it’s having on our planet. A combination of a throw away culture and the increased use of plastic has been very damaging, with 8 million tonnes of plastic polluting the ocean every year. We have all seen the heartbreaking images of turtles and dolphins attempting to ingest this plastic or devastatingly becoming trapped in it.

We have reached a critical point where we cannot blindly continue polluting. It is positive to see society starting to implement changes: more of us than ever are buying reusable coffee cups and water bottles, restaurants and bars have banned plastic straws and supermarkets have encouraged us all to reuse our shopping bags. Additionally, a huge range of industries are looking at their carbon footprint and how they can offer an increased range of eco-friendly and sustainable products whilst reducing the use of plastic: the momentum to reuse, recycle and ‘go green’ has certainly gathered pace. But this simply isn’t enough, and we need to all be making active changes to our daily lives.

So what are your options when it comes to your interior? One of the first steps in going green is to reupholster an existing piece of furniture. Underneath an old and faded chair there is usually a very sturdy frame that can be reused and reupholstered to look as good as the day you bought it (if not better!). But what about fabrics? There are more and more fabrics coming to market that are eco-friendly and sustainable and here are a few of our favourites.

The Eco Collection from Clarke & Clarke

The ‘Eco Collection’ is manufactured entirely from recycled plastics. Plastic bottles take 450 years to decompose in landfill, whereas Clarke & Clarke melt these bottles into small recycled chips, which are subsequently turned into yarns.

1m of this eco fabric uses 90 plastic bottles, meaning that if you use this fabric to reupholster a sofa you prevent approximately 8,100 bottles from going to landfill. Even minor projects make a big difference, with scatter cushions recycling approximately 230 bottles.

‘Eco’ promises to satisfy both the fashion and environmentally conscious, with the collection featuring subtle geometric designs, a warm organic feel, and being available in 6 different colour ways.

Flow from Kirkby Design

Never again will we look at plastic bottles the same way after seeing the ways they can be reused and repurposed. Kirkby Design’s recycled collection is spun from 100% recycled bottles that have been melted down, turned into yarn and given a super second life as upholstery, curtains or cushions. This sounds very similar to the above description; is there any differentiator you could mention for this collection?

Saddle ll from Linwood fabrics

This eco-friendly recycled leather is 70 percent leather by weight and has a suede printed face. The collection is made using leather offcuts from shoes and bags which are otherwise sent to landfill. This collection has 15 earthy colour ways ranging from tan, to cappuccino to moss. It has a beautiful texture on the surface and is inherently fire retardant.

Leaf from Kirkby House

For the eco-friendly and forward thinking the ‘Leaf’ collection offers recycled wool using salvaged yarns from the fashion industry. The collection is made from reconstituted wool from the Prato district in Italy and has a limited impact on the environment. The ‘Leaf’ collection includes 3 semi plains in a contemporary colour palette featuring pastel shades of mint, lemon and ice blue.

Lana Wool from Linwood Fabrics

As well as the wool being 100% recycled (70% of the fabric by weight), half of the man-made blending yarn is recycled as well, meaning that by weight 85% of ‘Lana’ is made from recycled yarns. Because it’s wool, another great feature of ‘Lana’ is that it’s naturally water repellent. The wool is recycled near Florence where it’s woven, resulting in a low carbon footprint. Both warm in winter and cool in summer, wool is the ideal choice for upholstery. ‘Lana’ comes in 55 colour ways from neutrals such as shortbread to vibrant fuchsia.

Whilst the interior design industry is beginning to implement positive changes, we still have a long way to go. We also have a duty to educate consumers about the eco-friendly options available to them. To stay up to date with the latest eco-friendly design trends follow us on Instagram (@idupholstery) where we will be posting regular hints and tips so you can do your bit for the environment. If you would like to have a discussion about anything mentioned in this blog post, or to find out about re-upholstering an item of your furniture please don’t hesitate to drop us an e-mail at info@idupholstery.co.uk.