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Bast fibres are becoming a sustainable favourite

woman in t-shirt standing in flower field
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Nov 04, 2021 By WGSN Insider

We called Bast Fibres as one of our Top Trends for 2022. Key when considering textiles, these fibre crops are set to grow as the fashion industry diversifies away from cotton. Plant-based bast fibres – led by linen and including hemp, ramie and jute – are gaining traction due to their potential to drive regenerative fibre strategies in fashion. Discover this fibre group, its sustainability credentials and its role in regenerative farming. 

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What is a bast fibre?

A bast fibre comes from the fibrous layer inside the stem of plants, different to plants such as cotton, where fibre comes from the plant seed. Flax (linen) hemp and ramie (related to nettle) are most known in apparel, whereas jute, for example, is used in home textiles and accessories. Although the fibre group is small, interest in them is growing. They are recognised as being soil-friendly, needing little irrigation or treatment in cultivation, so if processed correctly, they can offer consumers low-impact products.

Regenerative farming practices

Going hand-in-hand with organic agriculture, bast fibres work holistically with regenerative farming practices and can help to improve soil health, biodiversity, farm livelihoods and help mitigate the climate crisis due to carbon sequestration. 

Brands should evaluate the environmental benefits of bast fibres as part of a longer-term regenerative fibre sourcing strategy. 

Zara linen top on wooden hanger
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