Acrylic fabrics are made from a synthetic polymer called acrylonitrile. Like many other synthetic textile fibers, it was the American DuPont Corporation that originally developed acrylic fibers. It is produced by reacting certain petroleum or coal-based chemicals with a variety of monomers, which means that acrylic is a fossil fuel-based fiber. Many toxic chemicals are used in the production of acrylic and there are concerns that acrylic may be carcinogenic, so we strongly advise to avoid using this fiber and especially for textiles that come in contact with your skin. As all plastic materials, acrylic is not biodegradable and release micro plastics when worn and washed. Acrylic is made to be similar to wool and is often mixed with wool to make a cheaper material. Acrylic is the least breathable of all textile materials, it also pills very easily and will shed fibers when worn and wash. Since acrylic is a plastic fiber, it means it release a lot of dangerous macro-plastics when worn and washed.

bergstrand material GUIDE ranking*

Acrylic may be carcinogenic.


Banned materials are those that we strongly recommend to discontinue for use in clothing production due to their negative environmental or health impacts. These materials may be highly toxic or non-biodegradable, and may pose a risk to the environment and to workers.
* The Bergstrand Material Guide Ranking is only a guide. Our consultants can help with accurate assessments of your brand’s use of materials.
Photography credit:
Eugene Chystiakov

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