Material Monday EP. 6: How sustainable is linen?

Linen is a natural and very luxurious material that is especially perfect for breezy, lovely summer clothes. But how sustainable is linen? Keep reading to find out how eco-friendly linen is. 

How sustainable is linen?

Linen is one of the most sustainable fabrics. It is made from flax plant fibres, so when untreated (not dyed) it is fully biodegradable! 

The flax plant requires minimal water and pesticides to grow, which is what makes the production of linen so sustainable. Another advantage that makes linen very sustainable is that flax plants are extremely resilient and can grow in poor soil.


Linen can withstand high temperatures, is very strong and naturally moth-resistant. It absorbs moisture without holding bacteria. Linen also becomes softer the more it is washed. It just gets better and better with time!

Unlike cotton, linen that’s been well cared for can last for up to three decades. What’s the best and most sustainable way to care for your linen? Wash it with warm or cold water on a gentle cycle, then dry it naturally in a shady spot. Linen tends to get very crinkly, so make sure to either gently iron it, or try and smooth it out as much as possible before drying.

the flax plant

Flax, the plant from which linen is made, is also extremely versatile. Every part of the flax plant has traditionally been used to create a product – nothing is wasted! A common by-product of flax, for example, is Linseed Oil. 

The only cons of linen

Because of the dense nature of the fibre, the material has to go through a heavy bleaching process to become white. The bleaching of garments can include toxic chemicals, which are often released into rivers, oceans and soils. 

Sticking to linen in its natural-toned hues will ensure a more environmentally friendly garment. Natural linen colours include ivory, ecru, tan and grey.

Brands that use linen

Since linen is such an eco-friendly and strong material, it is used by several sustainable brands. Need some inspiration? Amazing ethical and sustainable brands that use linen include OhSeven Days, Beaumont OrganicJan ‘N June and Auguste the Label.

Another brand I want to mention is Bed Threads – it is a brand that makes bed sheets from 100% Flax Linen.


Sunday Scrunch Shorts in Lime by OhSeven Days

Slip Top Triangle by Jan ‘N June

Gianna Linen Jumpsuit by Beaumont Organic

Lover Shirred Mini Dress by Auguste the Label

Did you know that linen is one of the most sustainable materials you can pick for your clothing, but also for your bed sheets? It is a lovely material that will last a very long time if cared for correctly, and that feels super luxurious on your skin. Linen for the win!

If you want to learn more about other natural materials, make sure you check out Material Monday Episode 5, where I compare organic cotton with conventional cotton. Let me know if you have any questions, thoughts or recommendations.


Thanks for reading!

Pauline xx

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