Soy – Is it Ethical?

Soy fibre looks and feels amazing. It can be blended with a host of materials, to serve the luxury, casual as well as athleisure industry. Its soft, moisture wicking, durable, works well with natural dyes and is a great alternative to wool, silk and cashmere.

ssoy.jpg

is it ethical or not? 

There’s good news and bad news:

The Good –

1. The fabric is produced from waste (or a byproduct) from the Soy industry,.

2. Its biodegradable.

 

 

81zKOOCqUnL._SX679_.jpg The Not-So-Bad –

Production of the fibre involves a process similar to Bamboo or Rayon. A lot of chemicals are used, but experts say that these chemicals are reused in most cases, making it a closed loop system. I’m not sure how i feel about this. Eventually the chemicals have to be disposed, and there’s no way of knowing how it was disposed.

The Bad –

Unless there’s evidence proving otherwise, workers making the fibre are exposed to a great deal of chemicals, posing a big health risk.

We have to keep in mind that Soy production is mostly GMO and pesticide dependent, which poses great threats to the environment as well as farmers. Another issue with Soy production is that it’s massive demand is causing producers to clear our large spans of rainforests in order to cultivate the crop. And as we know deforestation is one of the biggest threats to the planet.

One might argue that Soy fabric comes from a by-product of the crop (which is in huge demand by the food industry), so its not really responsible for the farming practices. I guess thats a personal choice we have to make. 

Me, personally? I’d prefer organic Soy if I can get my hands on it (yes, its a thing). Also if I had to choose between polyester and Soy i’d choose the latter.

It crazy how while exploring Ethical Fashion one comes across the paradox of Eco friendly VS Vegan over and over again. Soy is loved by Vegans as an alternative to dairy, and a great protein source. Yet its large demand is causing great damage to the environment. What is one to do ??!!!

X

PS- I’m not a fibre expert. So any thoughts or contradicting information on this will be truly appreciated 🙂

Research Sources

  • Eco Salon
  • Textile School

 

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