Our Fav Fabrics
The textile industry is one of the most energy- and resource-intensive branches of industry on our planet. Water consumption in the cultivation of raw materials; energy consumption; emissions; and the use of chemicals and associated wastewater pollution in production are the central challenges to be overcome. As a fashion company, we have a special responsibility here.
We think TENCEL™ is the holy grail of fibers for fabrics. Made by Austrian company Lenzing, TENCEL™ Lyocell is a semi-synthetic fiber with properties almost identical to cotton. It’s part of the Rayon family, made from renewable wood materials.
TENCEL™ is manufactured from Eucalyptus trees, which grow fast and thick on low-grade land. It takes just half an acre to grow enough trees for one ton of TENCEL™ fiber. Cotton needs at least five times as much land—plus, it must be good quality farmland. TENCEL™ production is done without the use of pesticides or insecticides.
While Eucalyptus trees don’t need irrigation, water is still used to process the pulp and turn it into TENCEL™ fiber. Lenzing estimates its water use at 155 gallons per pound of fiber, which is 80% less than cotton.
TENCEL™ has a closed loop production process, meaning over 99% of the non-toxic solvent is recycled and pushed back into the system instead of being flushed out as wastewater. And don’t just take our word for it: TENCEL™ fibers are certified by the European eco-label Oeko Tex 100 as containing low levels of manufacturing chemicals and byproducts
TENCEL™ Modal is also a wood based fiber. TENCEL™ Modal is processed from sustainably managed beechwood forests in northern and central Europe. Fiber yield of beechwood trees is 2 times higher than that of cotton plants. Plus, trees require less fertilizers!
The majority of our woven fabric is made of viscose—aka rayon—another man-made fiber made from wood pulp.
Linen is made from flax, and is one of the best fabrics out there and has been for ages. It is strong, breezy, anti-bacterial, and oh so gentle to your skin and the planet. Linen uses basically no water, and emits ¼ of the carbon as cotton per pound of fiber.
Organic cotton is a big step in the right direction. It doesn’t allow the use of genetically modified seeds and restricts the use of many chemicals—making it safe for the environment, the farmers and you! It still uses water and land but it helps sustain the land it is grown on through crop rotations, natural ways of controlling pesticides, and it is usually rain fed.
Alpaca wool, is a renewable fiber that has a much lower environmental impact than most sweater yarns. Compared to conventional wool, each pound of alpaca wool saves 400 lbs of CO2 and 1,500 gal of water. Alpacas are mostly raised in the Peruvian highlands almost exclusively on small family-owned ranches, where each is given one acre of land to graze, giving the grassland ample time to regenerate. Unlike goats and other herd animals, alpacas have soft hooves and gentle eating habits that limit soil erosion and plant destruction. More importantly, they’re sheared only once a year under humane conditions!
Cashmere comes from goats, mostly the type that roams within Asian areas such as Mongolia, Tibet, Northern India, Iran, Afghanistan and Southwest China. The luxury fibre mainly comes from the Kashmir goat. Cashmere is typically finer, softer and lighter than sheep’s wool, and can be three times more insulating. It is made from a very fine, close weave and has been manufactured in Mongolia, Nepal and Kashmir for thousands of years. Each year from March to May, the Kashmir goats undergo a moulting process and shed a mixture of coarse hair and soft undercoat. Farmers have to separate the two hairs, so that the fine undercoat can be dyed and woven into a yarn to be used in fabric.
Cotton, a natural fabric. The fibres can be made into a wide variety of fabrics ranging from lightweight voiles and laces to jeans. Cotton fabrics can be extremely durable. It is washable, and can be ironed at relatively high temperatures. It is comfortable to wear because it absorbs and releases moisture quickly.