Many of us get confused when we have to choose between sustainability and taste. How many times have you been in this situation when you saw a nice piece of furniture or a nice bedspread and the tag said it was made out of real leather or wool. How disappointing, isn't it? Don't worry, we've got something for you: you can have trendy designer pieces that are just as attractive but made from vegan materials. Here we present five materials that Living Multicultural uses that are sustainable and vegan.
1. Cactus Silk
It is a luxurious fabric made from the fibers of the Saharan aloe vera cactus. Traditionally, the fabric has to be as natural as possible, so many manufacturers only dye cactus silk with natural vegetable dyes. After making the cactus silk fabric, you will notice that it has a beautiful, natural metallic sheen. The complex, hand-woven production is often associated with high costs. But what about maintenance? Cactus silk can be washed at 30 degrees and ironed at a low temperature. Cactus silk is quite stretchy and doesn't wrinkle, so it doesn't need to be ironed!
Hemp fiber has been used for thousands of years and is now considered an environmentally friendly "super material". Hemp fabric is made from the fibers of Cannabis Sativa. Hemp requires no pesticides, repels weeds without herbicides, and produces plenty of oxygen. Fabrics made from hemp are anti-allergic and skin-friendly. Recent tests show that hemp has the ability to destroy staph and other bacteria that come in contact with its surface. This material looks like classic linen and (depending on the fabric blend) can feel like your favorite flannel. Hemp materials will soften over time and with each wash.
Linen fabric is made from flax fibers. The resulting linen fabric is two to three times stronger than cotton. Due to its porous nature, it has the property of conducting heat and moisture, making it a popular fabric for summer clothing and bedding. It's also an antibacterial fabric that has been used in bandages for centuries, and is particularly useful in window treatments and accessories like accent pillows. However, linen also has its downsides. As a fabric, it is not very elastic and can therefore crease quite heavily. Despite this, linen is a popular material and a good choice for home accessories.
Cotton fibers are seed hairs from plants in the Malvales family. This material is comfortable and easy to wash, but creases easily. Cotton fabrics will shrink about 3% when washed unless pre-treated to prevent shrinkage. It absorbs water, is breathable and withstands heat, bleach and detergents. However, the fabric can be damaged by mold and prolonged exposure to light. Valued for its comfort, ease of care and inexpensive processing, cotton is ideal for clothing, bedding, towels and furniture.
5. Vegan Leather
What's so great about vegan leather? First, it is not made from the skins of dead animals. In addition, it is more environmentally friendly! More than a billion cows, pigs, goats, sheep, alligators, and many other species of animals are cruelly slaughtered for their hides each year. Many of these animals endure painful procedures while still conscious. Vegan leather offers an equally leather-like look without having to slaughter animals. Also, turning hide into leather requires a great deal of energy and a toxic brew of chemicals including mineral salts, coal tar derivatives, formaldehyde, oils, dyes and finishes, some of which are cyanide-based. Tannery waste contains water polluting salts, lime sludge, sulphides, acids and other pollutants that are extremely harmful to all aquatic life.
We hope our list has given you a little insight into what our products are made of and a little awareness of the importance of using vegan materials.