Environmental concerns are growing in many commercial sectors, and it’s no different in the fabric and textile industry. As consumers become more conscious of their choices, the demand for sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics increases.

As a reputable fabric supplier, Ricky Richards receives lots of enquiries about green products for various applications. But what is green fabric and where do you find it? This guide explores the topic of green fabrics in detail – including the types available in Australia today and their benefits.

What is green fabric?

Put simply, green fabric refers to fabrics or fibres crafted using cleaner materials and manufacturing methods.

Some materials used in fabric production are natural and, therefore, already deemed sustainable, such as bamboo and hemp, for example. Other fabrics use materials that are recycled and repurposed into fibre for textile weaving, such as plastic drink bottles. The PET fibres resulting from plastic drink bottle recycling are now used in fabrics for clothing, furniture, window blinds and wall mountings to name a few applications.

In its infancy, green fabric raised concerns from consumers about the quality. How would it stack up against traditional textiles, many wondered. Manufacturers soon proved there was no reason for concern, with green fabric showing the same quality as other textiles – whether used for fashion or furnishings – proving its place on the market as an alternative option with less impact on the environment.

Benefits of green fabrics

Whether you’re a company, which manufactures green products and relies on sustainable materials, or someone in search of eco-friendly textiles for projects in the home, green fabrics can present a great option for numerous reasons.

Here are some of the main benefits of working with green fabrics on your next project:

  • Eco-friendly fabric generates less pollution during the production process than traditional textiles
  • Plastic bottles that are recycled for PET help reduce the waste headed to landfills
  • Green fabrics help create high-quality, durable end products that last for years
  • Commercial products or DIY projects made using green fabrics lead to personal satisfaction from a reduced carbon footprint
  • Companies choosing green fabrics for the manufacturing process can improve their brand image

Types of green fabrics and their characteristics

In Australia, there are limits to the technology used for recycling textiles properly. Unfortunately, this means the country has a long way to go to creating full-cycle sustainable green fabric – although you will certainly find numerous options of green fabric available to purchase.

At Ricky Richards, we present a broad range of fabrics for use in multiple applications, including high-quality green fabrics that meet our customers’ needs. Here, we explain our most popular green fabrics that are proving an ongoing hit amongst our green-conscious customers.

Outlook Mode Mesh

Outlook Mode Mesh

One of our bestselling green products at Ricky Richards is the Outloook Mode Mesh fabric. This thick mesh is made from renowned lead and phthalate-free bio-plasticiser, Dow Ecolibrium. Given that 98 per cent of the plasticisers for this product are sourced from non-fossil fuel feedstocks, the overall manufacturing process of this product lowers greenhouse gases by around 40 per cent.

What’s more, the Outlook Mode Mesh eco-friendly textile carries the Greenguard Gold certification, validating the product’s claims to emit low vapours, and making the mesh suitable for indoor residential use.

Microban technology prevents the growth of bacteria, mould, and mildew on the fabric, and it is also fire retardant.

Benefits of Outlook Mode Mesh eco-friendly fabric also include:

  • Incredible views while being protected from the sun’s harsh rays
  • 99 per cent reduction of solar heat gain
  • Outstanding durability in the face of extreme weather conditions
  • Indoor climate control and outdoor comfort
  • Allows light and cool breeze to filter through the mesh
  • Comes in a range of Colorbond colours

The eco-friendly fabric is mainly used for:

  • Lock arm awnings
  • Pivot arm awnings
  • Wire guide, straight drop, 'zip' channel, channel guide awnings
  • Sliding shade systems

Ricky Richards offers a 10-year warranty on this mesh. Part of the sale price is donated to the Melanoma Institute Australia for funding vital melanoma research and subsequent treatment.

Solterior FR

Solterior FR is a solution-dyed polyester fabric that is used for commercial awnings and umbrellas, visually appealing and environmentally friendly.

Solterior FR is one of the most premium green products offered by Ricky Richards. For starters, it is made from yarn produced out of used PET plastic bottles, giving a second life to a product that would otherwise end up in landfill.

That said, Solterior FR's eco-friendliness doesn't come at the expense of quality. It offers the same high-quality features as other Ricky sun control products, including fire retardancy (AS1530 Part 2 & 3), waterproofing, UV resistance, and printability using screen-printing or UV inks. It also comes in 10 attractive colours to suit any design needs.

Additionally, Solterior FR is 100% recyclable, RoHS compliant, and supported by a 5-year UV warranty. So, choosing Solterior FR is a smart business decision and a small step towards helping maintain the environment.

Be.Tex Green Samba FR

Be.Tex Green Samba FR

One of our most premium green products at Ricky Richards, the Be.Tex Green Samba FR is another green fabric made from recycled plastic bottle yarns. Sporting a beautiful matte finish, this eco-friendly textile is airtight and fire-retardant. On top of being completely recyclable, the eco-friendly fabric is also crease-resistant, making it perfect for use as a backlit textile.

With high-quality light diffusion coating, the Be.Tex Green Samba FR lays flat and is ideal for making:

  • Lightboxes
  • Display frame systems
  • Bean bags
  • Table cloths
  • Banners
  • Stand constructions
  • Inflatables



Dreamscape Sustainable is a range of products designed to meet the needs of both your business and the planet. Here are two of their most popular products:


Nolar is a non-PVC, wood pulp-based wallcovering media compatible with solvent, eco-solvent, UV-curable, and HP Latex printers. It's a recyclable, lightweight and affordable option for low-traffic areas that don't require commercial-grade wallcoverings.

With an FSC-sourced material and a Class "A" fire rating, Nolar is also highly breathable, resisting mould and mildew in high-humidity environments.


Terralon is a high-performance wallcovering with 31% post-consumer recycled content, making it an eco-friendly choice for your interior décor needs. In addition, it's PVC-free, lead-free, and plasticiser-free, and contains no heavy metals, contributing to several LEED credits.

Terralon is printable using UV-curable, solvent, eco-solvent, or Latex digital inkjet technology and is highly breathable, allowing for water vapour transfer to prevent mould growth. With its consistent print quality and easy installation, Terralon is a top choice for designers looking for sustainability and quality.

Where can you buy eco-friendly fabrics?

So, now that you understand more about the types of green fabrics on the Australian market, all that’s left is to tell you where to find them. Ricky Richards, of course!

Our team has been leading the way in specialised outdoor textiles in Australia since 1983. Part of our commitment to providing a wide range of printable materials and outdoor fabrics means making sure all customer needs are catered for – including those who want high-quality fabrics that cause less damage to the planet.

If you like the sound of any of the green products we have discussed today – or simply want to know more about our range of eco-friendly textiles – come along to our showroom for a look around and a chat with our team.

A final word…

Green fabric production is still very much in its infancy the world over.

The good news is, key stakeholders within the textile industry recognise this is a growth area, and something more companies want so they can create their own green solutions for customers. The Australian government, textile manufacturers and suppliers including Ricky Richards are working hard to make sustainable options more available in our market in the near future.

That’s got to be good news for the planet and for anyone who wants to shop for sustainable eco fabrics.

Reference: Facts and figures, United Nations