Since the first Earth Day in 1970, awareness has soared regarding our environmental impact on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, plastic pollution, and water and energy usage. With increased mindfulness, many people are finding ways to incorporate sustainable solutions into their daily lives. One solution is purchasing apparel items with a significantly lower environmental footprint.
According to EARTHDAY.ORG, mindful apparel purchases are gaining traction to reduce the over 8% of total GHG emissions attributed to the fashion industry. Using sustainable materials and processes, fashion ─ including headwear ─ can be both stylish and eco-conscious.
With Earth Day 2022 approaching on April 22, consumers are looking for ways to sync up their headwear purchasing power with their environmentally friendly hearts. Fabric blends made of sustainable materials such as organic cotton, recycled cotton, recycled polyester, and Polylana fiber result in headwear that’s high on comfort and durability, as well as kinder to our planet.
With headwear made of 100% certified organic cotton, consumers can feel good about wearing a cap or beanie made with a material grown without the use of toxic chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Plus, growing organic cotton vs. conventional cotton takes significantly less water and less energy, thus reducing CO2 emissions by approximately 46%.
Recycled cotton comes from pre-consumer cotton fiber waste or post-consumer recycled cotton fabric. Whether by reducing fiber waste or recycling as part of the circular economy, recycled cotton is ultimately transformed back into yarn for sustainable fabric. Using 80% less water during production than conventional cotton, recycled cotton also reduces the use of chemicals, pesticides, and CO2 emissions. Pair a bucket hat or cap made with recycled cotton with other sustainable apparel for an eco-friendly fashion statement.
Certified by the AWARE traceability system, which guarantees sustainable fabric content and environmental reductions claims, Polylana fiber is an eco-conscience alternative to acrylic and wool fiber for beanies — including fleece beanies. Production of Polyana uses 85% less water and 76% less energy, resulting in a 19% reduction in CO2. Polyana also results in 76% less waste and 32% less fiber released in the wash.
Because the thirst for plastic bottles is still going strong, thank goodness there’s a proven way to recycle these bottles so they don’t end up in landfills or the ocean. Polymers from recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles can transform into a high-quality, breathable fiber that’s similar to acrylic yarn.
Depending on the style of caps or beanies, one to five PET bottles can be recycled to make lightweight caps that keep their shape, hold their colors, and resist stains and wrinkles. Fleece beanies made of recycled PET can also wick moisture.
Dyeing recycled polyester can be ecologically sound, as well. Dope dyeing involves infusing color pigment directly into the melted polymer solution before the fiber is made, trapping the pigments inside the plastic. After it cools to a solid form, the dyed plastic can be formed into strong yarn. This technique reduces water use as there is no immersion into water, and the hot transfer leads to a permanently dyed fiber that doesn’t lose color wash after the wash.
Of course, some caps combine a trifecta of sustainable materials with a blend of organic and recycled cotton with recycled polyester mesh and closure that’s been dope dyed. With a sustainable beanie tucked into a pocket in case April turns cooler, consumers can be set to celebrate Earth Day in sustainable style.