The world of textiles is an imperfect one, filled with imperfect choices - so I thought I'd tell you about some of the fabrics I'm using and why.
This is hemp/recycled polyester twill.
My impression: Sturdy, but with a beautiful drape. Super soft, changes color in the light - from dark charcoal and indigo to light and silvery, easy to work with, lovely.
The upside: 77% Hemp - an extremely fast growing crop, producing more fiber yield per acre than any other source. (Fewer resources used.) It is commonly grown without the use of pesticides and herbicides. Fabulous. 23% Recycled Polyester - made from post-consumer PET bottles - which, like it or not, seem to be here to stay. Better to use a finite natural resource twice, right? The process of recycling plastic into polyester fiber is less energy intensive and emits less carbon dioxide than the production of virgin polyester fiber. And it keeps some bottles out of the landfill.
The downside: Recycled petrochemicals are still petrochemicals. Made in China (but, with considerable disclosure about the factory's employee and environmental policies).
So there you have it - imperfect. Better than lots of stuff.
And! Listen to this short (4:35) piece about recycled polyester and cost, climate change, and one percent of the cotton in the world and stuff. It's interesting.