3 Earth-Friendly Alternatives To Cheap, Synthetic Yarn

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3 Earth-Friendly Alternatives To Cheap, Synthetic Yarn

If you enjoy knitting or crocheting, you've probably spent countless hours standing in the yarn aisle, trying to choose the most beautiful, well-suited yarns for your project. But have you ever thought of what those yarns are made from and how the materials from which they are made impact the planet? Many yarns these days are made from synthetic petroleum products, which makes for cheap yarn, but it is not great for the earth. If you're seeking to "go green" with your yarn choices, here are some alternative materials to consider.

Marine-Recovered Plastic Material

If you really like the look and feel of the synthetic yarns, then look for marine- and coastal-recovered plastic material yarn. Basically, companies comb the beaches and ocean for plastic that has been taken out to sea. They collect the plastic and break it down into fine fibers, and then turn those fibers into yarn. By buying such yarn, you are helping to clean up the oceans, which benefits the plants and animals that live in this unique ecosystem. Plastics in the ocean can kill fish, birds, and other animals, so each skein of yarn you buy makes a difference.


Yarn made from bamboo may sound strange, but it's actually quite a durable option, especially if you plan on making dishcloths or other tough items. Bamboo grows really quickly and it can be grown without pesticides or herbicides. As it grows, it consumes carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, and releases oxygen, which all humans need to thrive. Bamboo yarn usually comes in natural colors, but you can find dyed versions if you look in more specialized stores.

Carefully Sourced Wool

Wool is sometimes portrayed as a poor choice in materials since it is obtained from animals. Not all sheep used for wool are treated well, but there are companies that place a big emphasis on ethics when obtaining their wool and only buy wool from farmers who take great care of their animals. Ethically sourced wool is a good, eco-friendly choice. It is sheared from the sheep; the sheep do not die and are typically not injured as a part of the process. When you're done with the wool, it will break down naturally, unlike plastic-based yarns that will sit in a landfill for centuries.

Synthetic yarns may be cheap, but they are a poor choice for the planet. Opt for yarn made from marine-recovered plastic, bamboo, or wool instead.

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