Silk, made from silkworms, is light-weight and long lasting, but does break down eventually. If you’re worried worms die in the process, source “Peace Silk”.
Linen, made from the flax plant, which is light on water and chemicals to grow, is also energy efficient to produce. It composts and can be recycled.
Bamboo, which grows quickly and needs minimal pesticides, is great for thermal underwear, among other things, but lots of chemicals are used to make the fabric.
Lyocell, made from wood pulp from renewable trees that require little water and chemicals to grow, also produce less pollution than most others.
Alpaca, from the Peruvian grazer, similar to the llama, which is hardy and does not need antibiotics. Alpaca wool is similar to cashmere, but it does not come with the burden of deforestation caused by overgrazing Asian goats for their fleece.
Organic Wool, comes from sheep farms which don’t use chemicals on pastures or the sheep, relying on nature to nourish the earth.
The main thing is to shop around, do research and ask questions so that you know what you are buying.
It pays to buy something which may be more expensive than its cheaper eco-unfriendly counterpart, not just to save the environment, but also your pocket. Yup, you’ve heard the saying: “you get what you pay for”.