A key part of being committed to sustainable fashion is the selection of fabrics. The production of yarns and fabric has a major impact on the environment and for this reason I make a very careful selection each season and also research the processes and by-products of the yarns. I've put together a summer of the yarns we've chosen to work with this season so you can learn more about it and hopefully it can also inform your purchases with other brands.
Linen is made from Flax tree fibre is one of the most biodegradable fabrics. It's strong, moth resistent and absorbs moisture without holding bacteria (that's why it feels soooo good to wear!).
Our linen fabrics are dyed with low chemical dyes which greatly reduce toxins in the environment. We are looking into ways to reduce this risk even further.
We aim for GOTS certification with our linens but due to the smaller quantity we're currently using, we didn't quite meet the GOTS quota this season. Instead the current season's linen has Belgian Flax traceability certification which is a process whereby every step of the flax and linen fabric production is traced and monitored under environmental guidelines.
We've all heard of the amazing qualities of hemp (not like when we were teenagers - or beyond! but as a fabric). Hemp fabrics are stronger, more absorbent, more durable, and better insulating than cotton. Also, they don't stretch out of shape.
Hemp clothes breathe better than cotton, are lightweight and anti-bacterial. It's the perfect eco fabric as it's gentle on the earth and uses a lot less water than cotton.
We must let go of our images from the 80s of the roughly woven khaki shirts - hemp is a luxury fabric! We've blended a couple of our styles with lyocell to give it a better drape and softer texture.
Lyocell is a regenerated cellulosic fiber i.e. they are made from wood-pulp harvested from tree plantations.
Our manufacturer uses only the Birla Cellulose brand of Lyocell (called Birla Excel) which is made from wood-pulp that comes from FSC-certified forests. This means that Birla is committed to sustainable forest management in the production process of these fibers. The lyocell fiber production follows the same closed-loop process used by Lenzing, which manufactures the Tencel brand of Lyocell fibers.
Whilst cotton does consume a lot of water to produce, there are so many advantages to using it either as a blend or a stand-alone fabric.
It's a natural fibre which in itself puts it way ahead of any synthetic fibres like polyester as it can decompose and is a lot less harmful to the earth. It has great absorbency properties and is long lasting.