Fabric is used all over the home to soften the edges and make us feel comfortable.  We touch it, sit on and under it, dry off with it, and sleep on it.  And we want it to be as non-toxic as possible.  So here are the best natural and eco-friendly fabrics to use in a sustainable home.
Eco Friendly Bedding


We mention natural fabrics a lot.  Most recently in our post on Top Interior Design Trends where sustainable and natural living continues to grow in popularity.  But plant-based fibers are not really a trend, they are something to easily work into a healthy lifestyle at home.



When you think of fabric, a lot of people naturally think about the clothes they wear.  But when you look around your home, you can see fabrics used in Upholstered Furniture, Drapery, Pillows, and Linens like Bedding Sheets and Bathroom Towels.

One of the best places to use natural fabrics is in the bed, where you’ll feel the effects immediately and all night long. We mentioned this in our post about Ways to Stress Less and Sleep More.  It’s really important (and luxurious) to have bedding that makes you feel comfortable. When bedding doesn’t breath, you get hot, you sweat, you wake up throughout the night. If they’re too thin – you’re freezing, too heavy you’re boiling.  It’s a real Goldilocks situation where it has to be just right.

Eco Friendly Bedroom

Elle Decor


Oh yes.  There can be up to 2,000 chemicals used during the manufacturing process, leaving residual amount in the fabrics that can leach into the water supply, pollute the air and be absorbed by our skin.

Formaldehyde, for example, is frequently used in conventional manufacturing to help cloth retain its uniformity (so it won’t bunch) and size (so it won’t shrink).  This process is toxic not only to the environment and consumers,but also to the employees who handle the chemical all week.

Eco Friendly Fabrics at Home

Luxe Interiors + Design

When selecting and purchasing any new fabric, it’s important to think about how long the fabric will be usable before it starts to show signs of wear and needs to be replaced.  The more durable a fabric, the longer it will last.  And Long-lasting fabric is more environmentally friendly than those that need to be replaced all the time.

If you are planning to donate old sheets and towels, consider dropping them off at your local animal shelter.  The dogs and cats won’t care if they’re stained, a little worn or out of style!

Sustainable Fabrics for Home Decor


Eco Friendly Fabrics at Home


Cotton is the most popular natural fiber and can be used all over the home, including upholstered furniture, drapery,  rugs, blankets and pillow covers.  And there’s almost nothing better than a fresh set of cotton sheets or bath towels.  Bath and Bedding linens come in direct contact with your body’s skin every day, so it’s important to make sure these items are non-toxic and chemical-free.

High quality cotton is breathable, durable and incredibly soft.

But not all cotton is created equal.

Natural Cotton uses a ton of pesticides or glyphosate (aka: Roundup), and often times bleach or synthetic dyes.  And you know how nasty pesticides are because they cause skin irritation, alterations to the body’s hormone balance and a whole host of other health risks.

On the other hand, Organic Cotton is a green fiber.  Never genetically modified, it doesn’t use poisonous chemicals found in the polluting pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers.

To make sure you’re getting the real deal on organic cotton, look for the GOTS seal.

Eco Friendly Fabrics Upholstered Furniture Living Room

House Beautiful

Eco Friendly Fabrics at Home
Eco Friendly Fabrics in the Bedroom


If you’re in the market from a splurge that’s totally worth it, get yourself a set of linen sheets.  Go for the whole bedding while you’re at it.  With just a glance, you’ll instantly release any tension and feel completely relaxed and ready for the ultimate in comfort.

We specify linen the most because it has so many benefits, and is one of our go-to fabrics because it’s a low maintenance, sustainable natural fiber, making it long lasting and eco-friendly.  It’s breathable, hypoallergenic and highly durable, great in any season, and just like us – resilient and gets better with age!

Dress it up.  Dress it down.  Linen is chic and classic, and works great as drapery, slip covers, and of course bedding.

Eco Friendly Fabrics at Home


Bamboo is often called the sustainable wonder plant because this renewable fiber has natural antibacterial qualities.

This makes bamboo perfect for bedding sheets, mattresses and mattress covers, and bath towels.  It’s a finer fiber that feels even softer than cotton, plus it helps to fight off nasty germs in places that you want to keep clean.

These plants grow quickly, don’t require pesticides, absorb 4 times the CO2 that other plants do, and release 35% more oxygen.  Wow!  Plus these fabrics are super soft.



Eco Friendly Fabrics at Home Lori Dennis Bedroom
Eco Friendly Fabrics at Home
Eco Friendly Bathroom Towels


The true multi-purpose plant!  Hemp is an extremely durable and strong fabric that can be machine washed, and naturally resists mold and UV light (hello drapes and furniture by the window!)

It grows fast in any kind of climate, uses little water, doesn’t exhaust the soil and requires no pesticides or herbicides.  Many consider hemp the most versatile and sustainable plant on earth because of it’s many uses for biofuel, paper, fabric, rope, building materials, skin care products and even food.


Eco Friendly Fabrics at Home


Eucalyptus textiles are so soft, lightweight, and breathable.

You may see the ingredients listed as Lyocell, Tencel or Modal, which use the wood pulp of a Eucalyptus tree or shrub.

Like Bamboo, Eucalyptus is fast growing as well as anti-microbial, which makes it a natural insecticide as a flea and moth repellent.

The manufacturing process is fairly minimal and harmless to the air and water supply, and it can also be recyclable and biodegradable.

Eco Friendly Fabrics at Home Lori Dennis Bedroom
Coyuchi linens has a great sustainability program where they take back used bath and bedding linens and recycle them for a second use.  This reduces production and landfill waste, and we love that!
If you’re looking to add natural fabric to your personal wardrobe, check out our post on How to Build a Vegan Capsule Wardrobe.
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How to Achieve Style and Sustainability

Green Interior Design is the most comprehensive guide to sustainable building, designing, and decorating on the market. This beautifully illustrated guide covers every detail of your home—from the drywall to the finial on the curtain rod—and how to find the most environmentally friendly versions of products and décor. This second edition of Green Interior Design is meant as much for the budget DIYer as it is for the luxury homebuilders looking to dip their toes into sustainability.

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Eco-Friendly Fabrics for a Sustainable Home

Excerpts taken from the book

Green Interior Design by Lori Dennis and Courtney Porter