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Sustainability- The Fabric Choice

  • One day late in the timeline of our blog posts but here we are, with this week entry for our sustainability Rubrica!

You know the drill, if you will comment and partecipate to tonights discussion on Instagram under the related post you might win something, this time is free shipping on your next order!

Ok lets start! This week's topic is the issue with fabric choice for sustainable brands. In this very requested article I will (start) to walk you through some of the sustainability terminology and what does it mean to choose sustainable fabric, including some of the challenges that come with it and limitations.

In addition to this article you can also check out our info page and under "sustainability" we give a few information on the fabrics we use and the reason why they are more sustainable than most fabrics used on the market.

1- Tencel

Tencel is among one of my favorite fabrics, it comes in many different thicknesses and it has the added value of being perfect for both summer and winter. It is similar to Rayon and Viscose but other than being organic like the previous two, it is more eco friendly. It is a branded type of Lyocell (unbranded name of Tencel). First of all the chemical used in its production isn't discharged into the water. It's made of certified sustainably-sourced eucalyptus. Fast-growing eucalyptus can be found on all continents and require less land and – often on land that couldn't otherwise used for farming purposes – than the equivalent amount of cotton. Neither does eucalyptus require pesticides and herbicides.

In Tencel we made: 

  • The Dolomyte
  • The Wolf Willow
  • The Wolf Fern
  • The Rowan
  • The Marina
  • The Acqua
  • The Diana
  • The Serene
  • The Matilda
  • The top of the Artemis
  • and in addition you can select a Tencel version of the Luna, the Cassiopea and the Selene.

2- Linen

Linen is known to be a very sustainable and organic fabric. It is also known to be the oldest fabric ever used!

Here are some reasons why linen is quite sustainable: 

  • Growing flax (the plant from which linen is derived) requires less water than cotton.
  • There is very little waste with flax; other part of the plant, like the seeds, can be used to produce linseed oil or flax seeds for consumption.
  • Linen typically requires fewer pesticides, herbicides and fungicides than cotton. They are still used, but you can avoid this by looking for organic linen!
  • The durability of linen means it lasts longer than other materials.

However linen has one famous down side that might make it a bit less sustainable than Tencel. It requires a loot of washing and ironing since it wrinkles quite easy.

This causes a waste of electricity and water.

In linen we made: 

  • The Bailey
  • The Belle
  • and more to come!

3- Organic Cotton

Today, cotton is the most widely used raw material in the world. Nevertheless, it is a known fact that growing cotton has many challenges, since it requires large amount of water, chemicals and pesticides. Organic cotton means cotton that is grown without using harmful pesticides, chemicals and synthetic fertilizers. The methods and materials used in organic cotton farming maintain soil fertility and reduce negative impacts on rivers and fresh water sources close to the cotton farms. Further, organic cotton production does not use genetically modified (GM) seeds.

With organic cotton we made: 

  • The Dolomyte lingerie
  • The Willow fox and bunny

4- Silk

Silk is an eco-friendly and fully degradable material, with a fully circular production cycle:

  • Silkworms only eat natural food: leaves of the mulberry tree or leaves of specific types of plants.
  • Mulberry tree plantations increase the level of biodiversity in the ecosystem;
  • Compared with other textile crops, such as cotton, or non-textiles, such as cereals, mulberry tree require little amounts of water;
  • Mulberry tree plantations are never sprayed with fertilizers and pesticides.
  • Silkworm breeding is a perfect example of a circular economy. As a matter of fact, silk production was given as an example of such a system on the first international UN conference on agroecology
  • Silk fibre processing has a very low environmental impact in terms of atmospheric emissions;
  • During its life, silk does not release polluting substances and does not contribute to the the gigantic problem of plastic microfibre pollution typical of synthetic fibres which for now has no solution.
  • Silk fibre is 100% recyclable and reusable.

It could however been said that the production of silk exploits the animals, the Silkworm. This is more a question of animal rights rather than sustainability but it feels important to mention it.

In silk we made: 

  • The Etoile
  • The Yule
  • The Lumi
  • The Dolomyte kimono
  • more to come

What about polyester? Can we still buy it?

Polyester is a bit of a misunderstood fabric! Being a synthetic fabric it has always been largely disregarded as unsustainable. Polyester is, however, more sustainable in a certain sense than many organic fabric as it requires less water waste in production (as it doesn't come from trees that need water to grow) and it lasts longer and requires less ironing and washing than many organic fabrics. It's big problem is the fact that releases small particles of plastic in the washing machine that are not caught by the filter and end up in the ocean creating terrible environmental consequences.

However there are many ways to avoid this issue with polyester based fabrics. One example is to purchase a filtered washer bag that will contain the particles and tell you how to dispose of them after each wash. Another option is to hand wash your items in cold water to avoid the loss of small particles due to the heat and the spin velocity of the washing machine.

Here is a link to a bag to wash your poly items in: https://en.guppyfriend.com/

In polyester we made (but offering other fabric options too): 

  • The Luna
  • The Selene
  • The Cassiopea
  • The Astra
  • The Pearl
  • The skirt of the Artemis

Important last note

Finally I want to make a little consideration. Fabrics are not only sustainable or unsustainable due to their production method. In order to be fully sustainable fabrics should be digitally printed, or printed with organic techniques, in order to avoid the waste of water caused by fabric printing. All fabrics, including linen, Tencel, organic cotton and silk, once dyed in a certain color or print become less sustainable due to the dying process itself!
We are happy to say that most of our fabric is digitally printed and limits this problem greatly!

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