With the growing population, the textile sector has seen a surge in popularity in past years. The need is partly since fashion trends change all the time. And, due to sensible thinking, the needs were largely met using eco-fibers to ensure compliance with environmental safety regulations.
Eco-Fibers – What Are They?
Eco-fibers are getting produced without use of chemicals and pesticides. They’re disease-free and naturally resistant to mildew and other fungi. Eco-fibers include hemp, cotton, and linen, among others.
One of the most important things to remember is that all natural fibers are not eco-fibers. If a plant fiber is naturally grown without using chemical pesticides or insecticides, it can then be termed organic. They should be grown only by using composts, manures, and cover crops.
Also, man-made fibers can fall under the category of eco-fibers. Crops like corn, soy, or peanuts, which are rich in protein, are used to manufacture regenerated fibers. Animal proteins like casein are also used. Cellulose is used in the process of regeneration in most cases.
Some Popular Eco-Fibers
1. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera contains antibacterial qualities by nature. It is used to eliminate the bad smells from the body along with good cleanliness. It is a captivating and useful fiber for the people who wear aloe vera made clothing regularly.
Bamboo is completely biodegradable and biologically regenerable. This makes it one of nature’s most appealing and useful recyclable resources. Bamboo fiber, sometimes known as bamboo linen, is naturally antibacterial, hypoallergenic, and can maintain a pleasant body temperature.
The porous structure of bamboo helps it to breathe and drain moisture. Bamboo has a smooth, cashmere-like softness and a lovely drape.
They are made up of densely packed tissues bound by natural gums. Because they include sticky layers and create coarse, brittle fibers, the plant’s outer and inner sheaths are discarded. After two to three outer sheaths have been removed, the inner layers are used. This is because, after this, they are easily blended with cotton or other fibers.
Professional designers all around the world are already using corn fiber. They are already being used to make sportswear, formals, and other goods.
Its fibers are long and strong which makes it suitable for spinning with very little processing. It can be found in different masses and textures too of textures and masses. It is the flawless option for producing a wide range of clothing and accessories.
Hemp being a very robust fabric functions as an insulator and absorbs moisture efficiently. It improves in quality and softness with gradual washing and usage. It’s also UV-resistant, has good breathability, and dries quickly. It has positive health properties as well, as it is hypoallergenic, and is gentle on the skin.
It is the second most important fiber crop after cotton in terms of consumption, demand, production, and availability. Jute fibers are used to make carpets, clothing, and upholstered furniture among the other numerous uses. The ones that aren’t weaved are used in a range of industries.
7. Soy Silk
Soy protein is melted and extended into long, continuous fibers that are then cut to length as needed. Because of the high protein content of soy, the fabric responds exceptionally well to natural colors. As a result, synthetic colors are rarely used. This one is a bit underrated and lesser-known.
This fiber is made from wood pulp using chemical-free methods. It’s manufactured with non-toxic solvents that are then recycled, resulting in a production process that produces virtually no waste. Hempcel fabrics may be produced by mixing them with other fibers (Lyocell and Hemp).
The Importance of Eco-Fibers
1. Social responsibility
Traditional farming techniques damage drinking water and groundwater with chemicals and pesticides. Water bodies are contaminated in the process, and it may even disrupt the regular food chain. The production of the organic and eco-fibers are developed without pesticides and chemical fertilizers involvement.
Eco-fibers are recyclable and are broken down naturally over time by microbes. When synthetic fibers degrade, they emit hazardous toxic by-products into the environment, contaminating the environment.
3. Health Concerns
Many people are allergic to synthetic fabrics and pieces of clothing, and they avoid wearing them. All of the advantages of current synthetic breathable fibers may be found in eco-textiles. Furthermore, they are softer and drape nicely. They are more pleasant on the skin and do not irritate or create rashes.
4. Absorbing Capabilities
Eco-fibers are created from natural resources and are free of irritants. They are hypoallergenic and have antibacterial characteristics naturally.
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Eco-Fiber Market
The Eco-fiber market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 9% between 2021 and 2026.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the worldwide lockdown of 2020 had a significant negative influence on the eco-fiber industry. To comply with lockdown regulations, the majority of manufacturing facilities had to halt output. The textile industry was unquestionably one of the hardest impacted. The global sales figures had dropped by double digits.
As a result, several plans and incentives to pick up the textile industry were implemented. And the end product was rather satisfactory. It resulted in a significant expansion in the eco-fiber market, as well as the textile industry as a whole.
The growth in demand for everyday and fashion wear is expected to enhance the overall market throughout the estimated period of 2021-2026. In the long run, increasing household use of eco-fiber will also benefit the market.
High production costs are expected to stifle growth in the future years. Despite this, the market is expected to profit in the next few years from increased demand for eco-fibers in a variety of applications.
It is hoped that the eco-fibers global market will be led by the Asia -Pacific region. Throughout the forecast period, the area is likely to increase at the fastest rate. The textile industry of China and India are likely to drive progress. Furthermore, firms opt to develop manufacturing facilities in China, India, and Bangladesh because of high cotton output and low labor costs.
Sustainability is the goal we’re aiming toward, thanks to the growing logical train of thinking among the general public. If it weren’t for eco-fibers, this wouldn’t be conceivable. Eco-fibers’ unique absorbent and biodegradable properties are two aspects that contribute to their distinctiveness. The global pandemic slowed the market temporarily, but it quickly recovered thanks to government initiatives. If the trends are to be believed, the eco-fiber market has a bright future ahead of it in the anticipated period of 2021-2026.