We’re likely familiar with the concept and importance of a plant-based diet, but how about a plant-based closet — what is plant-based clothing, why does it matter, and where can we find it?
Let’s start with the basics…[P.S. This post is proudly sponsored by Valani, an eco-fashion label with feminine clothing responsibly crafted from earth-minded vegan fibers. As always, all brands featured on Conscious Life & Style must meet very high standards for sustainability and opinions are completely my own!]
What is Plant-Based Clothing?
As it sounds, plant-based clothing is clothing — like the garments from Valani — are made from materials derived from plants, like eucalyptus trees, cork trees, the hemp plant, or even from the byproducts of fruits.
All plant-based clothing is vegan, but not all vegan clothing is plant-based. What differentiates plant-based fashion from vegan fashion is that the former implies that the materials used are natural.
Why “Vegan” Doesn’t Automatically Mean Eco-Friendly
While many — especially those just getting started with conscious lifestyle changes — may assume that vegan equals green, the reality is that while vegan fashion can be mindfully produced, it can also be made from fossil fuels.
Vegan fashion can mean made from animal-free synthetics, like polyester for example, which is formed from a combination of coal, petroleum from crude oil, air, and water,  or polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is derived from petroleum and salt. Not exactly earth-minded fibers!
Examples of Eco-Friendly Plant-Based Clothing Fabrics
In addition to recycled fabrics, responsibly-sourced plant-based fibers are a wonderful way to implement vegan fashion into your life in a conscious way. Not all fabrics are created equal, though. So, here are a few of the best ones to note.
Durable yet soft, temperature regulating yet breathable — hemp is one incredible fiber. Add to that the fact that the hemp plant is fast-growing and resists pests, requires little water to grow, and can even heal the soil where it’s grown by extracting pollutants and restoring vital nutrients.
To get an idea of just how efficient growing hemp is, consider this: on the same amount of land, hemp can produce 2.5 times more fiber than cotton and 6 times more fiber than flax (the plant that linen comes from)! 
Now, let’s talk about aesthetics. While hemp has had the perception of being frumpy in the past, Valani is shedding this granola image with their light and flowy Hemp/Tencel clothing designed with flirty feminine cuts — from puffed sleeve crop tops to ruffled frocks.
2. Banana Fabric
While it may sound cutting-edge to create fabric from a banana plant, it was actually back in the 13th century when banana fiber cloth was first introduced in Japan!  The fabric faded away as cotton and silk became more popular, but this plant-based fabric is making a resurgence thanks to its sustainability and soft, silky feel.
Banana fabric is made from banana stems of the banana plant, which are typically discarded by the banana agriculture industry. So, nothing new needs to be grown or extracted to source the raw materials for this fabric.
Inspired by the naturally delicate and silk-like texture of banana fabric, Valani’s banana fiber clothing is dreamy and elevated, like the brand’s ruffled Sokha Banana Dress and romantic Srey Midi Skirt.
In a nutshell, Tencel is a cellulose fiber derived from the wood pulp of eucalyptus trees and produced using a closed-loop process.
While trees are a naturally renewable resource, not all cellulosic fibers are created equal. What sets Tencel apart is that it is sourced from responsibly managed FSC-certified farms (many cellulose fibers, like viscose and rayon, are made from trees harvested from ancient and endangered forests ) and the fiber is produced using an ultra-efficient process that recovers and reuses over 99% of the water and solvents used.
Tencel, like banana fabric, is another silky material. Valani uses the naturally hypo-allergenic plant-based fabric to craft elegant, timeless pieces with simple silhouettes that feel sophisticated and sexy.
More on Valani
Valani is a woman-of-color-owned, plant-based fashion brand that thoughtfully considers each detail of production. Valani colors their garments with Oeko-Tex certified low-impact and non-toxic dyes and avoids the use of any heavy metals in their dyeing and finishing process as well.
Mindful of fashion’s massive textile waste problem, Valani also cuts their patterns efficiently to minimize the amount of fabric leftover. Any remaining fabric is used to create accessories and the scraps are utilized for things like pillow fillings.
And not leaving out any piece of the puzzle, each Valani piece is delivered to you in eco-friendly packaging made from recycled and natural materials like hemp and jute twine, recycled tissue paper and organic cotton labels.
Founder Vanni also has embedded charity into her Valani’s operations — the brand plants one tree for every garment sold and donates 10% of profits to various women’s rights, animal, and environmental nonprofit organizations.
Visit shopvalani.com and follow the brand’s Instagram page, @shopvalani, to learn more about the brand and explore their collection!
-  http://www.madehow.com/Volume-2/Polyester.html
-  https://cfda.com/resources/materials/detail/hemp
-  https://kougeihin.jp/en/craft/0133/
-  https://canopyplanet.org/campaigns/canopystyle/
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