Linen is one of the most biodegradable and stylish fabrics in fashion history. It is strong, naturally moth resistant, and made from flax plant fibres, so when untreated (i.e. not dyed) it is fully biodegradable. Its natural colours include ivory, ecru, tan, and grey.
Linen can withstand high temperatures—making the fabric generally perfect for raiding the jungle or lounging on a tropical island. It absorbs moisture without holding bacteria. In fact, it is actually stronger when wet than dry and becomes softer and more pliable the more it is washed. It just gets better and better!
It is made from the flax plant and every part of the flax plant has traditionally been used to create a worthwhile product—nothing is wasted, and production is cost effective. A common by-product of flax is linseed oil, which is great for wood preservation, especially in varnishes, and flaxseed oil is also rich in omega 3!
Flax is resilient and can grow in poor soil, using far less water in its consumption than cotton. According to the European Confederation of Linen and Hemp, “Across its lifecycle, a linen shirt uses 6.4 litres of water” compared to 2,700 litres for a cotton shirt.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation state that flax uses 13 times less pesticides than potatoes, but is only approximately 1% of the world’s apparel fibre consumption.
Why is this so, you ask? Linen has so many good points!