Sugarcane is mostly cultivated for its juice from which sugar is processed. The by-products from sugarcane processing is straw and cane fibres, and this is used in the textile industry for weaving (bags, baskets, mats), paper ( wrapping paper, books) and agriculture for animal feed. Sugarcane fibres are environmentally friendly and better than other synthetic fibres.
Rattan is another material favoured in textiles for making baskets and furniture. It’s a naturally renewable palm that grows in the tropical regions of Africa, Australasia and Asia. Due to their durability and resistance to splintering, sugarcane and rattan are quality materials used in biodegradable fashion.
The textile industry is under pressure to create decor and fashion in a way which is most considerate of humanity and the environment. What and how materials are used in the production matters more now than ever before. Biodegradable material
can decompose in nature as a result of the actions of biological agents such as plants, animals and bacteria, along with other physical agents such as the sun and water that transform these substances into compounds that serve as nutrients for the environment. How we shop and consume affects our wellbeing and planet.
Here are reasons why you must support biodegradable fashion:
- Less energy is needed in the manufacturing of products. Cane and rattan weaving is mostly done using techniques and skills that have been used for generations. Most of the products are handmade.
- Biodegradable materials break down easily, and can be absorbed by the soil or converted into compost. This action supports nature’s wellbeing.
- Manufacturing biodegradable products produce far less pollution and reduces the fashion industry’s carbon footprint.
- Biodegradable materials such as cane and rattan make products that are strong enough to be used daily, e.g baskets, furniture, bags, mats..
- Cane and rattan are low maintenance, easy to clean and waterproof.
The appetite for fashion has extreme impacts on people and the environment. Non-biodegradable microplastics have entered the food chain and human water supplies, posing huge risks to human and species health. The textile industry as a whole is one of the worst polluters. Non renewable synthetic materials are a huge problem. These materials are used to prolong the longevity of clothing, however the production of this type of material results in the release of gases that are more than a 100 times more harmful than carbon dioxide.
The United Nations Forum on Forests encourages and supports public policies and approaches that rely on forest certification schemes. This approach encourages responsible harvesting, enhances efforts to protect biodiversity and workers rights.
A collective change of mindset is urgent. Nature suffers from unhealthy production choices, and so are many of its people. Biodegradable fashion helps address this, gives us better choices.