I love using yarns that are environmentally-friendly and come from naturally biodegradable, renewable resources.
Alpaca yarn is super soft and often compared to the feel of cashmere. It’s more durable than traditional wool, is a renewable resource, biodegradable, warm, lightweight, and naturally hypoallergenic. Alpaca yarn comes in 22 natural colors, is fade resistant, and doesn’t hold odors like other fabrics do. What more could you ask for in a yarn?
I love wool for winter wear. Merino wool is derived from the Merino sheep, whose wool is softer than other types of wool. It’s a renewable and biodegradable resource, holds in warmth, and is naturally resistant to allergens (though some people can be allergic to the wool itself). If you want to try some, I recommend O-Wool–a U.S. based company that offers some of the best wool I’ve ever worked with.
Cotton is soft, easily washable, renewable, and biodegradable–and using organic ensures it is an eco-friendly alternative. Traditional cotton is grown with more pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, and chemicals than any other crop, completely depleting the soil, harming the environment by contaminating water run-off, and even causing serious skin irritation. So if you want to use cotton (especially for light summer knits) splurge for the organic stuff.
I don’t buy acrylic yarn anymore, but I have been using it from a stash that was gifted to me. In my opinion, it is better to use and re-use yarn you already own than to go out and buy something new. The same goes for yarn you get from unraveling and old sweater or t-shirt yarn from worn out clothes you don’t wear anymore. Be resourceful and the Earth will thank you!