Five Least Sustainable Fashion Fabrics

February 27, 2023

Green and ethical practices in fashion are important if we want to enjoy them without causing detrimental damage to the globe. The urgency of the need for sustainable fashion is put into perspective by the fact that the fashion industry was responsible for 35% of the total microplastics in our oceans in 2017. To minimize the harm caused to the environment through fashion, you need to understand what substances hurt our environment and why we should avoid them. Here’s a look at some of them.


 Plastic in water, polluting fish habitat.


Nylon is made synthetically to be used as raw material for the textile and cosmetics industry. Its synthesis releases nitrous oxide as a by-product. Nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas known to deplete the earth's ozone layer.

Additionally, clothes made of nylon release microplastics when washed, contaminating the water bodies that supply water to crops and farmlands. They also enter the ocean and harm marine life. Microplastics inevitably enter the food chain and become a health hazard.


Rayon is called an environmentally friendly replacement for silk as it is made from trees that are (relatively) renewable. This should make it a sustainable material for fashion.

However, the raw material for rayon is wood pulp which has led to the clearing of natural forests to make space for trees that can provide that raw material. CNBC shared a disheartening report on clearing a natural rainforest in Indonesia in 2021. The incident disturbed a community of people and the wildlife they depended on for food.


Acrylic is far from being an ideal substance for sustainable fashion. It is also a synthetic fiber that is non-biodegradable, which means it will stay in landfills for a long time. Acrylic production also releases harmful chemicals that are hazardous to the health of workers and everyone exposed.


A white cotton yarn

Inorganic Cotton

While cotton may be a natural raw material for textiles, the high consumer demand has increased its production unsustainably. 1800 gallons worth of cotton is cultivated for just a pair of jeans. Excessive use of insecticides and pesticides on cotton fields harms the soil's ecosystem. This makes cotton production an unsuitable process for making fashion sustainable.


Large amounts of fuel and water go into the synthesis of virgin polyester, a common substance in most fast fashion items. It is a non-biodegradable substance and will stay in the environment for a long time.

There are a few other materials, such as fur and leather made from animal skins, that raise ethical questions on the treatment of animals and release huge amounts of methane into the environment.

We recognize our responsibility as change-makers in the fashion world. As men's wear, women's wear, and children's clothing manufacturers in Los Angeles, sustainable fashion is one of our top goals here at Lefty Production Co.

Our clients are presented with numerous options focused on conscious fashion, and we only procure materials from environmentally friendly and ethical sources. Get in touch with us to visit our apparel manufacturing companies and see for yourself!

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