How Sustainable Is Linen? Our In-depth Guide Unlocks The Answer
Written by Evelina Kaganovitch
The thought of linen often springs to mind images of the rich and famous sipping champagne on a yacht. But this luxurious material is much more common to stumble upon than you might think - and a good quality linen shirt or pair of pants can be equally stylish as it is sustainable.
How sustainable is linen?
What is linen-
A natural fibre made from flax plant fibres. Where do flax fibres come from? They originate from the flax plant, where flaxseeds come from (that we love to add to muesli or salads), and even linseed oil, another cooking staple. The natural material is known for its luxurious properties and often feels very crisp when playing around with it in your hands. Compared to its natural material friend, cotton, it dries much quicker and is exceptionally lightweight - no wonder it's the only material you need for a sweltering summer's Ron de Vu.
The benefits of linen-
Where do we begin? Linen fibres possess numerous benefits that no synthetic fibre can replace. It has a magical way of becoming softer and more mouldable the more you wash it - like your favourite pair of Doc-Esque boots that feel like a second skin.
Here are a few more reasons why to fall in love with linen with
It'll last for generations - literally. If you take good care of your linen pieces, they are super durable and can experience many of life's adventures with you.
It's incredibly breathable - so it's super great for hot weather. There's a reason why linen is so popular in bedding.
It keeps you feeling and smelling fresh - thanks to its antibacterial properties, linen absorbs moisture (body sweat) without latching on to the bacteria.
Linen is moth resistance. If you're packing all your summer clothes away during the cooler months, you don't need to worry about those little pests snacking on your linen pants.
- The fibre is biodegradable. If the linen has not undergone any non-natural treatment can break down entirely within a few weeks when buried in soil.
Even though we're raving linen fans, nothing is perfect, and there are a couple of things to be kept in mind when buying linen.
It's more expensive than other fabrics
But think of it as an investment - a beautiful linen shirt will last for years and years (and years), compared to a cheaper quality one that's a mix of cotton and polyester that might start to pill and look worn out after a few seasons. Linen will look classier when you wash it making your long-term Cost Per Wear (CPW) significantly lower than buying cheaper styles.
Linen crinkles easily
Constant creasing is classic linen behaviour and signifies that the material is pure. Ensure you iron linen on the correct setting or hang it up on a hanger when you shower, and the steam will smooth out the crinkles.
Non naturally dyed linen takes longer to biodegrade
The natural colour of linen fibres sits between the natural brown colour family. And the less the garment resembles an earthy tone means it will take longer to break down when it's disposed of. For example, to get a crisp white linen colour takes many rounds of bleaching, exposing both you and the person who made the garment to toxic chemicals. It doesn't make linen a bad guy; it's just good to keep in mind.
Must be cared for properly
You can't pop linen clothes into the wash with your activewear. Linen needs to be cared for properly. Do not wash in warm or hot water as it will shrink. A cold hand wash (or gentle cycle) is best, then hang it up to line dry.
We love it! Linen is a fantastic material that's worth the investment. It's natural and doesn't need to be mixed with other non-natural materials (like polyester), meaning it can break down organically. If it's dyed using natural plant-based dyes, there's also no risk of any toxic chemicals being absorbed into your skin, and it feels super soft to wear.
It has Luna + Sun's tick of approval and is our material of choice for most of our products.
Why Luna + Sun loves linen
At Luna + Sun, we adore our linen and do our due diligence before committing to a fabric. Our linen comes from Potters Textiles, an Australian supplier with a rich history of sourcing the best quality and most environmentally friendly flax from France and Belgium - before being sent to China for milling.
All the linen (and the dyes used to colour it) meets the Oeko-Tex standards. It doesn't include any toxic or harmful substances, and all workers who create the beautiful material do so in ethical and safe conditions.
For more information about our linen and commitment to sustainability, click here.
As you can tell, we're a little biased towards linen fabric - but for a good reason. What's not to love with its lux feel, cooling properties, and durability?
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