When you find out that in the US alone, only 15% of garment and textile waste are reused and the rest end up in landfill, you think of ways to support clothing that are designed with their death in mind. Enter linen. It is one of the oldest textiles in the world that comes from the earth-friendly flax plant. The use of linen for clothing dates back to thousands of years ago with records of it being used in ancient Egypt civilization and in the Bible.
Why is it earth-friendly? According to several articles, production of linen uses less water consumption, less to zero pesticide and no part of the flax plant is ever wasted during the process. Now how efficient is that? Linen when untreated is fully biodegradable too! Uggghhh, sooo gooood!!! But how is it as a fabric when worn you ask?
Well, happy to report that linen is one of those breathable fabrics that made shooting like this in the day a breeze in this heat wave of a weather (40.4ºC index). (Seriously, this climate change has got me evaluating my workwear wardrobe but that’s a topic for another day). Actually at first, linen repelled me coz it feels stiff and rough to touch making me conclude that it’s a hot fabric when worn but I was proven wrong. I did this shoot around 4-5 outdoors and I was already expecting the back side drenched in sweat after (yeah I sweat that much) but it never happened. My research also told me that it’s one heck of a versatile fabric too coz it’s a natural insulator and that makes it warm in winter season too. Now this I have to test out soon.
After discussing all these advantages at length, do you still wonder why it’s a pricey fabric? The only disadvantage I see is it being wrinkly but actually that’s part of its charm. Just take a look at this peasant dress in a beautiful pistachio color that’s reminiscent of times gone by. It actually gives me some Elizabeth Bennet vibes. Don’t you think so? If I get a chance to visit again my cousin’s farm in Nueva Ecija, I will definitely wear it for shoot there. Oh and last but not the least, linen fiber is durable. There are discoveries of tombs in again, Egypt (I feel like this post is serially connected to my travel posts of the same country, hehe) of linen curtains that are still intact. Last Sunday after worship, my Tita was just talking to me about how her linen dress still looks good after five years. With so many great styles of linen available out there, my hope is for you to find something that makes you appreciate the fabric and to help a little to live sustainably. 🙂