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Are you looking for zero waste shower curtains?
I collected a list of fantastic zero waste shower curtain options that are sustainable and plastic-free!
Below, you can find 9 sustainable shower curtain alternatives and why you should consider switching & ditching synthetic ones.
You will learn about:
- The problems with synthetic shower curtains
- The best zero waste shower curtain alternatives
- Pros and cons of eco-friendly shower curtains
– What is the best non-toxic shower curtain?
– Do shower curtains biodegrade?
– Can you recycle a shower curtain?
– How do I prevent mold from growing on my eco-friendly shower curtain?
– What to do if you see mold on the curtain?
- Sum up
The problems with synthetic shower curtains
Most shower curtains are synthetic and aren’t recyclable. That’s especially when the curtain contains PVC, which is generally not recyclable in municipal recycling systems.
Additionally, synthetic shower curtains are extremely unsustainable; they are made from petroleum, a non-renewable resource.
These items also contain many chemicals that can be toxic for both you and the environment.
Personal health issues:
Most shower curtains are made out of polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
Out of 108 chemicals, 7 are identified by the Environmental Protection Agency as hazardous air pollutants.
Additionally, VC is a synthetic chemical used in the polymerization of PVC.
Studies like this one concluded that VC is a known human carcinogen by inhalation.
The plastic shower curtains could be toxic when you hang them in your shower since they may release toxic fumes.
The 9 best zero waste shower curtain options:
1. Rawganique Hemp Shower Curtains
Material: European hemp shower
Made in: Europe (some of their products are made in the USA or Canada)
Price range: $55 – $79
Where to buy: Find them on their website.
Rawganique offers PVC-free, chemical-free natural hemp shower curtains.
They have a range of different sizes and colors. The woven organic hemp canvas fabric doesn’t leak water, and it dries pretty fast.
The shower curtain can be waxed to become waterproof. However, waxed curtains are no longer machine washable.
The price range is quite affordable in comparison to other sustainable shower curtains.
They also have organic cotton and linen shower curtains, but they are pricier.
The company has no sweatshop policy, and they only sell ethical, sustainable, and handcrafted products.
2. Bean Organic Cotton Shower Curtain
Material: 100% organic cotton
Made in: the USA
Price range: Cotton – $33 – $43. Organic cotton – $50 – $65
Where to buy: You can find them on Amazon.
Bean shower curtains come in three sizes and three colors. You can choose the cheaper ones, which are made from cotton, or the more expensive ones made from organic cotton.
The durable fabric allows the shower curtains to dry quickly. You can use Bean’s shower curtains with a tub, bath, or stall shower.
The products are handmade with all-natural and nontoxic materials, unlike most conventional shower curtains.
They also sell a hemp shower curtain, but it is pricier ($85 – $100).
The sturdy, rustproof nickel-plated brass grommets help make your curtain last for years.
While browsing through the comments, I found a downside: they ship in plastic packaging.
It can be annoying, especially if you want to reduce your plastic and because the product is advertised as “green.”
To avoid that, contact them before purchasing to ask if they can send out the product plastic-free.
3. Only Good Brain Waterproof Linen Curtain
Material: flax, brass, coating
Made in: France
Price range: $113 – $126
Where to buy: On their Etsy shop.
While this eco-friendly shower curtain is the priciest, it is made with flax, one of the most environmentally friendly fibers.
It is made with no chemicals, and the dyes are phosphate-free.
The materials are purchased from local producers, and the curtains are made in Paris, then they are shipped around the world.
While the curtain is 100% biodegradable, they also use bio-based and 100% recyclable packaging to ship.
The delivery provider of the company uses is 100% carbon neutral since 2012.
The sustainable linen curtain dries very quickly every day, even in a bathroom with little ventilation.
4. Organic Linen Shower Curtain
Material: Organic linen fabric
Made in: Europe (Belarus)
Price range: $62 – $148 (depending on the size)
Where to buy: On their Etsy shop.
SHOP2016 is an online store on Etsy that is selling linen shower curtains from organic linen fabric.
They offer various sizes, and colors and everything is shipped from their workstation in Europe.
The eco-friendly shower curtains are handmade, weaved, and sewed in Belarus. The linen is produced locally from local raw materials.
Linen is a fabric with unique hygienic and antiseptic properties. It is much stronger than cotton, and the material becomes softer with every wash.
Furthermore, linen absorbs moisture and dries quickly.
5. Parachute Home Shower Curtains
Material: Turkish cotton, or a blend of cotton and linen.
Made in: Turkey
Price range: $89 – $109
Where to buy: On their website.
Parachute Home sells sustainable shower curtains made with long-staple Turkish cotton or a blend of cotton and linen.
The differences between their products are in weight, colors, and softness.
Due to the yarn-dyed process of coloration, the colors won’t fade, even with regular washing.
Also, to avoid shrinkage, it’s best if you line dry these shower curtains.
While these “zero waste” curtains are on the pricier side, they are of exceptional quality, and let’s be honest – they look beautiful.
6. Bed Bath And Beyond Shower Curtains
Material: Organic cotton or cotton-hemp blend
Made in: Unknown
Certifications: Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX, And GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard)
Price range: $32 – $40
Where to buy: You can buy it on their website.
They offer shower curtains made from organic cotton, or a blend of cotton and hemp, in various sizes and colors.
The best part is that these curtains are the most affordable ones, and you can choose from:
- Solid Hemp Shower Curtain – This one is made with cotton and hemp. It is Certified Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex. It is high quality and cost-effective.
- Two-Tone Organic Cotton Shower Curtain – 100% organic cotton curtain that’s Oeko-Tex certified.
- Pebble Stripe Organic Cotton Shower Curtain – 100% organic cotton, certified GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) and Standart 100 by Oeko-Tex.
7. Cotton Shower Curtain – Threshold
Made in: Unknown
Certifications: STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX
Price range: $20
Where to buy: You can buy it on Amazon.
The floral shower curtain is made with 100% cotton.
It is lightweight, durable, and Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX certified (which means it’s tested for harmful substances).
While it isn’t the most sustainable option (it is unknown where it is made, and the cotton isn’t organically sourced), it is an affordable and still a better option than the plastic ones.
You must machine wash & air dry it. If you use a dryer, it has the potential to shrink a little.
8. PEVA/EVA Shower Curtains
Made in: Mostly China
Price range: $5 – $15
Let’s face it. Not everyone has $100 or so to spend on a sustainable, eco-friendly shower curtain. And that’s okay. That’s why I wanted to provide a more affordable solution.
First off, it’s important to mention that PEVA shower curtains have their downsides. They are made from petroleum, a non-renewable resource, and contain various chemicals.
For example, this study found that PEVA plastic has adverse effects on worms.
While further research should determine whether the toxic effect can occur in humans, the study suggests that PEVA is not the best alternative to PVC.
However, PEVA and EVA shower curtains are water-resistant, made from chloride-free vinyl, PVC-free, and more affordable.
If you decide to purchase synthetic PVC-free curtains, the best way to do it is second-hand.
If you decide to go with his option – make sure you extend the life of the shower curtain by:
- Washing it every once in a while.
- Ventilate the bathroom well so it dries properly and it doesn’t get moldy.
- Leave the curtain all the way open/spread out after using the shower so it can dry.
- Make sure it doesn’t touch the ground.
If you aren’t renting a place and have your own home, a glass shower screen can be a great solution.
While it can be pricier, glass holds many benefits:
- It is easy to clean
- It is endlessly recyclable
- It won’t emit any nasty chemicals
- It is environmentally friendly
10. Bonus: No shower curtain
Okay, maybe this option won’t apply to everyone. But perhaps you don’t need a shower curtain at all.
If your bathroom is strategically designed, so when you shower, you won’t make absolutely everything wet when you might not need any shower curtains.
Or, if you have really good ventilation (or a window) in your bathroom, and everything dries pretty fast, consider having your bathroom curtain-free.
Pros of eco-friendly shower curtains:
- One-time investment – while being more expensive, you can consider it as a one-time investment. You will buy this one curtain, but it can last you many, many years if you take good care of it.
- Biodegradable – When it’s no longer usable, you can easily dispose of it sustainably.
- Sustainable materials – The curtain is made sustainably, with eco-friendly materials.
Cons of eco-friendly shower curtains:
- Pricey – The cheapest ones start at ~ $40.
- The curtain can shrink – Mainly if it’s made from cotton.
- More maintenance – You need to wash them more regularly.
What is the best non-toxic shower curtain?
Hemp shower curtains seem to be one of the best choices for shower curtains. This is because they are naturally anti-microbial.
Their tight weave also prevents water absorption and lets the fabric dry quickly.
Other natural shower curtain materials, such as cotton and linen, absorb much more water which makes them prone to become moldy and unhygienic.
Do shower curtains biodegrade?
The synthetic shower curtains made from plastic are not biodegradable.
On the other hand, shower curtains made from natural fibers like cotton, linen, and hemp are biodegradable.
This makes them a more sustainable & better option.
Can you recycle a shower curtain?
There is a very low chance that you will be able to recycle your old synthetic shower curtain. PVC (plastic #3) is generally not recyclable in municipal recycling systems.
TerraCycle offers boxes, which people can purchase, and fill with various bathroom accessories, including shower curtains. You can find more about it here.
How do I prevent mold from growing on my eco-friendly shower curtain?
Mold is annoying and very common in most bathrooms because of the moisture content. However, you can try to prevent it by following these tips:
- Ventilate your bathroom well so the fabric dries faster. As soon as you are done showering, turn on the exhaust fan, and leave it for at least 30 min (or if you have a window, open it.)
- Always leave it all the way open/spread out after using the shower so it can dry. If you leave it crumpled together in the middle, mold will grow in the folds.
- Wash the eco-friendly shower curtains regularly. Our shower curtain collects many dirt and bacterias anyway, so washing it at least once a month is recommendable. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions.
- When you wash the curtain, be sure the air dries completely before getting wet again. This will help prevent mold and mildew from forming.
- Choose a thinner shower curtain so it dries faster.
- Make sure the curtain doesn’t touch the ground.
What to do if you see mold on the curtain?
If you see moldy stains, take the curtain down, and the machine washes it with some towels.
You can also soak the dirty parts in a bucket or sink in a homemade cleaning solution of baking soda, vinegar, tea tree oil, and water.
There you have it – 9 options for zero waste shower curtains.
While some are better than others, it is already a huge step that you are trying to find a more sustainable alternative.
Pick the one that fits your lifestyle and current situation, and even if it’s not the most sustainable option – make the best out of it. 🙂
Did I miss a cool eco-friendly shower curtain brand?
Make sure to let me know in the comments below.