Our Vegan, Ethical, & Sustainable Fabric List

Lets start with the good news: The list of slow fashion fabrics and sustainably sourced eco-friendly textile options is growing.  So if you are a designer looking to join the slow fashion movement, where do you begin?
If you are on the Etch Tailor site then you probably knew we were going to start here.  But there are many good reasons for cork taking the first spot on our list (and not just because we have built our brand around the miracle material.)  Cork fabric is vegan, sustainably sourced, biodegradable, ethical, environmentally friendly, durable, lightweight, insulating, hypo-allergenic, water resistant, flexible, soft, elastic, plentiful, and beautiful.  While mostly famous for it's use in wine and champagne corks, the miracle material has been sought out by every industry from fashion to aerospace because of its wonderful properties.  If you have any doubts about cork fabric's versatility, check out our product selection to see how we use it to craft made to order cork golf bags, cork laptop cases, cork wallets, cork belts, cork purses, cork watch straps, cork duffel bags, cork tote bags, and more.  Cork is especially unique in that harvesting it actually HELPS the environment and threatened animal species which thrive in the protected montado forest.
Yup, because instead of cutting down the cork oak trees, highly skilled craftsmen carefully peel back the dead bark and the tree is then left to scrub CO2 from the earth's atmosphere for the next 9 years before the cycle is repeated.  And because the cork industry provides such a vital economic lifeline to the generational craftsmen in the region, the montado forest remains a protected habitat for endangered species like the Iberian Lynx.
Our very own custom import premium Iberian cork fabric takes the slow fashion movement a step further by backing the unique material to 100% certified cotton using a water based adhesive using only heat, pressure, and water. This ensures that the entire manufacturing process remains as ethical and eco-friendly as possible.  If your goal is to keep it green, be sure to watch out for "cork fabrics" which are backed to polyurethane or polyester using toxic adhesives.  Don't be afraid to ask your supplier about the entire manufacturing process before ordering.
While not as popular as fabrics like cotton, hemp is generally considered to be one of the most sustainable vegan fabrics available, and makes for an excellent addition to the slow fashion movement.  The plant requires little water to produce a high yield, and like cork, it's growth helps to scrub carbon dioxide from the earth's atmosphere.  In some cases, hemp can even be grown without fertilizers or pesticides, and it's strong roots are known to enrich the soil while protecting against erosion.  The end textile product is durable and breathable and one day soon may become a mainstay in the slow fashion world.  So put your hands together for the runner up on our list of vegan, ethical, & sustainable fabrics.
Made from pineapple... you know, the stuff that goes on pizza!
Or don't put it on your pizza, your call.  Either way, the leaves that are left over after the fruit is harvested can be used to make a vegan leather ethical alternative.  Pinatex is not to be confused with "vegan leather" which is made from PVC and involves harmful toxins.  Instead, Pinatex uses the otherwise wasted cellulose fiber from the Pineapple leaves and combines it a petroleum based bio-plastic known as PLA.
 Like hemp, bamboo thrives with little need for pesticides or fertilizer, and scrubs CO2 from the atmosphere while it quickly sprouts up from the ground.  The slow fashion ethical textile is anti-bacterial, insulating, moisture whicking, hypo-allergenic, sustainable, soft, and believed to be one of the most eco-friendly fabrics on the market.  It is best to avoid "bamboo viscose rayon" (chemical processing) with its wasteful and potentially toxic manufacturing process, and instead look for "closed loop bamboo rayon" which is more environmentally friendly.

Cotton is the most popular fabric in the world, but it is specifically organic cotton that occupies the fifth spot on our list of vegan, sustainable, eco-friendly fabrics.  While ordinary cotton cultivation is highly chemical intensive, it's organic alternative has a far more ecologically considerate impact on our planet.  To be certified organic, the cotton must be derived from non-genetically modified seeds and grown without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.



Tencel is the brand name for Lyocel & Modal which is made from the cellulose fiber from wood pulp.  The biodegradable and vegan slow fashion fabric is commonly used in sportswear because of its moisture wicking properties.  It is important to look out for Lyocel & Modal fabrics produced within a "closed loop system" which ensures that any chemicals needed during the processing phase are continually re-used and re-cycled.  Also be sure to check that the origin of the pulp is from a source which ensures sustainable harvesting of the wood and does not contribute to deforestation.



We saved the newest and potentially most exciting slow fashion vegan leather alternative fabric for last.  Desserto was developed in Mexico as an environmentally friendly organic leather alternative derived from the Nopal cactus plant (the prickly pear).  Much like cork harvesting, only the leaves of the mature cactus plants are harvested without harming the plant itself.  The cactus are especially unique in that growing them requires very little water and the farm is often left to collect rainwater alone without irrigation.  Carbon dioxide is naturally scrubbed from the environment while no pesticides or fertilizers are needed.

The list of vegan, ethical, and sustainable slow fashion fabrics continues to grow.  It is now up to us to help steer designers, manufacturers, and customers towards embracing these eco-friendly options in their closet's and on their fashion week runways.

 Check out some of our vegan sustainable cork products:

Cork Belt - Sized to Client Wishes & Laser Engraved


 Hand Crafted Luxury Dog Collar - Laser Engraved in L.A.

  Cork Watch Strap (with Apple Watch Option)


Our single carry travel solution hand crafted in Los Angeles from our sustainably sourced, plant-based, eco-friendly, import Iberian cork fabric. There is no better way to go exploring than with a sustainable-style statement fit to carry your passport, MUJI journal (optional), Parker pen (optional), ID, cash, and cards.

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