Is Modal Fabric a Sustainable Option? We Say Yes

White t-shirt hangs on coat rack

You're a conscious consumer who shops your values. When you're shopping for clothes, you always look for the most sustainable fabrics. You love cotton but wonder… Could there be another option out there? At Passion Lilie, we make our garments from a variety of sustainable materials which you can choose from, each with its own benefits. Like GOTS certified organic cotton and modal. You might already be familiar with the benefits of cotton, such as how it's a breathable and biodegradable fabric. But what about modal? Is it sustainable? And how does it differ from cotton?

Read on to learn more about modal fabric and how modal garments can be an ethical and sustainable addition to your wardrobe.

What Is Modal Fabric?

Modal is a bio-based fabric made from the cellulose of beech trees. How this works is that wood chips are liquified and forced through tiny holes to form threads which can then be woven into fabric. What you end up with is a flexible material that is both durable and eco-friendly. But as conscious consumers, we know the "perfect" sustainable fabric doesn't exist. And so modal isn't without its limits.

Some concerns people may have about modal include...

  • The risk of deforestation occurring
  • The risk of chemicals leaking into the environment
  • The potential use of toxic dyes on modal garments

The reality is that not all modal made in the world today is sustainable, although most modal is. So it’s important to know where your modal fabric is sourced. Safe to say, most modal comes from beech trees grown in certified sustainable forests in Northern and Central Europe. And is produced with a high recovery rate of ingredients so no substances enter the environment.

To be sure, only buy modal garments from brands like ours that are driven by a transparent ethos. We at Passion Lilie strive to be as honest and open as possible, and we welcome any questions about our practices. Because we're also aware of the negative impact of toxic dyes, all our modal garments are block printed by hand using only organic, azo-free, or natural dyes.

Despite its limits, here are a few reasons why modal fabric remains a sustainable material to choose from.

Beech tree leaves in focus

How Is Modal Fabric Sustainable?

1. Requires Minimal Water

Modal fabric is sustainable because it requires less water to produce than other materials. Take cotton, for example, which uses up 1,900 liters of water to grow the raw material for one t-shirt and a pair of jeans. On the other hand, modal production uses 10-20 times less water than cotton. Beech trees also don’t require artificial irrigation which can cause permanent damage to the environment. So when you opt for a modal garment, you’re helping to reduce water use and preserve the natural, surrounding land.

2. Requires No Pesticides

Modal fabric is considered a clean material because beech trees don’t require pesticides and herbicides to thrive. Modal is sourced from natural forests that don’t require chemical treatments. As we’ve seen previously, pesticides in industries like cotton can harm farmers and lead to serious illness and even death. That’s why our garments are made from certified organic cotton when possible, in addition to modal fabric. And we strive to produce more garments that are ethical, sustainable, and pesticide-free.

3. Requires Minimal Land and Is Carbon Neutral

What also makes modal fabric sustainable is that it’s responsibly sourced from forests that already exist and where the soil is only suitable as forestland. That means no additional land needs to be cleared to grow raw materials, as in other industries. So far, we have not had to see beech forests felled to make way for monocropping or other harmful practices as of yet. Beech trees are also a renewable crop since trees regrow naturally or can be sustainably replaced. This makes modal fabric carbon neutral, as beech trees don’t require frequent replanting.

Beech trees in forest

How Do Modal Garments Compare to Cotton Garments

1. More Absorbent

In addition to all the environmental benefits of modal, in your day-to-day, you can expect an ultra-absorbent fabric. This makes modal perfect for workouts or summertime activities outdoors. Modal fabric is 50% more absorbent than cotton, so it’s a popular fabric choice for activewear, pajamas, and bedding. But now we’re seeing more of it used in everyday wear. We at Passion Lilie use modal fabric to handcraft stylish tops and dresses that help you stay cool and dry in all weather.

2. Soft and Long-Lasting

Modal fabric is often described as feeling softer, silkier, and more luxurious than cotton. It’s color-fast, so your clothes stay vibrant and won’t wrinkle or pill even after several washes. That means you’ll get a lot of wear out of your modal garment and will be less likely to throw it away, creating less waste. When you invest in one of our modal pieces, you’ll have a lifetime garment that is both super comfortable and made to last.

View Our Modal Collection Today

We know that shopping ethically and sustainably is important to you. And now that you've heard all about modal fabric and its benefits, you have another sustainable option to choose from in addition to cotton garments.

At Passion Lilie we want you to be able to shop our collections with confidence. That's why we only produce slow, handcrafted, and natural garments that are certified fair trade. We use Earth-friendly materials like organic cotton when possible and modal fabric. So you can always find high-quality clothes from us that don't harm the environment.

Consider our modal collection for conscious and effortless looks that never expire.

Shop for your new modal piece today.

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