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What is the most sustainable fashion textile?

It’s a question we get asked all the time and unfortunately there really is no clear cut answer. Anything we do on this planet has an impact of some sort – the aim is to make that impact as minimal as possible. This is our commitment at Bilboa, to create timeless pieces that embrace slow fashion and create minimal negative impact on our beloved planet.

We use only natural, organic or deadstock fabrics for our ranges and predominantly make-to-order to reduce waste. We also LOVE using excess, damaged or discarded fabrics, working around the imperfections to ensure these textiles find homes in wardrobes, not landfill.

So what fabrics do we use and how do they stack up in terms of sustainability? We’ve created a little guide for you on the fabrics we use below.


We know the humble linen has become a bit of a cliche textile in our Byron Bay neck of the woods, but honestly, this is a pretty powerful fabric! Linen is made from the Flax plant which requires much less water to grow than conventional cotton. It can also grow in harsher soil conditions and subsequently requires less pesticides than other commercial crops. If that’s not enough to make you fall in love with this fabric, then you should also know that it is naturally moth-resistant, absorbs moisture without holding bacteria and is a super strong fibre, becoming even stronger when wet. 

Our Dune Stripe collection is made from a chunky slub linen made in Lithuania which is coloured with natural plant dyes and woven in beautiful thick stripes.


Next in line in our sustainable textile crushes is the wonderful hemp. A fast growing, durable plant that needs little water and actually enriches the soils it's grown in, the hemp plant is truly a miracle fibre! With no need for pesticides or chemicals it produces higher yield per field than other fibres, absorbs as much carbon dioxide as much larger trees and all parts of the plant are used in the production process, meaning nothing is wasted. It also feels great to wear, not only because it feels good on your skin, but because you know the good the plant has done for the earth and the air.

Versatile and with a soft handfeel, see all our Hemp pieces.

Organic Cotton

While conventional cotton is a natural fibre, its industrial production on a mass scale uses huge amounts of pesticides and harsh chemicals, harming workers in the industry, waterways and entire wildlife ecosystems. On the other hand, organic cotton crops encourage better farming techniques and water management helping to maintain soil fertility while getting all the breathable, durable benefits of cotton. Thankfully, the use of organic cotton is growing and the more we can all use it and purchase it, the more industry and big brands will be encouraged to embrace this chemical-free alternative. 


Deadstock fabrics are leftover fabrics from other fashion houses or manufacturers, or rolls that might contain minor faults which large production houses aren’t willing to work around. We love deadstock fabrics and love when we find a unique roll to work with! Producing in small quantities and creating in-house means we can work around any imperfections to create unique and limited edition pieces. And it’s all made extra satisfying by the knowledge that we are saving the fabric from landfill.

And when its a pretty as the Jungle Check or our Fuchsia pieces, it males it all the better!

Now that you know the difference between some of the more sustainable fabric options, keep an eye out for them next time you’re looking for a new outfit to buy!

Explore our range here.



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