Yes today! Entire post on sustainable fabric and material options. We have classified some and we explain how we choose and work, but the issue of sustainability is different for each company and each product so there are a thousand options to work with.
According to our criteria, we could divide them into: organic, recycled and new fabrics.
Organic tissues are usually of plant origin since they are crops free of chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers and in which the use of transgenic seeds is prohibited and water consumption is highly controlled.
We can find all types of fibers of plant origin: organic cotton, organic linen, organic hemp, organic bamboo... they are the most used and they are the ones that at Wearth we prefer the most. In particular, we use GOTS certified organic cotton from Turkey (a country with greater regulation and stricter regarding organic cultivation) and 100% GOTS certified organic linen grown and woven in Europe.
They are two fabrics that, due to their characteristics (natural color, drape, structure, temporality) provide a thousand options when designing and creating a beautiful, comfortable and fresh summer collection.
We ensure its traceability and certification by buying from European and completely trustworthy suppliers .
There is also organic wool and other materials of animal origin that, although it comes from a living being, is certified that what the animal eats is organically grown.
In short, they are organically grown materials that are produced from scratch, but minimizing environmental and often social impacts, and preserving their properties and quality.
Another very good option when choosing materials, since you are betting on transforming a fabric, an existing garment or other existing objects into a new material , that is, not parts of raw material, but of post-consumer material .
That is why we believe that it is a very good option, since you are not producing anything from scratch but rather you are taking something that already exists and transforming it. In fact, there are very good campaigns and initiatives around this, such as a pioneer in Spain, Ecoalf with the Upcycling the Oceans project, which through a network of fishermen began to make its garments from recycled polyester from fiber made from collected plastic bottles. of the Mediterranean Sea.
There are a thousand options, both in fabric and thread, from recycled polyester, recycled cotton, recycled cashmere, recycled polyamide, recycled wool... everything you can imagine, each material comes from different raw materials and has its own processes.
BUT here (and of course it is my own opinion) we have several buts.
- Recycled polyester and recycled polyamide Yes or no?
It can be taken from PET plastic bottles, and there is no need to introduce new material and the process is less expensive in terms of energy, compared to virgin polyester. And it is actually a very good option because at a technical level there are garments that, due to functionality, require certain characteristics that natural fibers cannot offer at the moment.
BUT in this case (and in recycled materials which are based on petroleum/plastic), we must talk about MICROPLASTICS , not only when recycling but in all plastic products that many of us have at home. I leave you a link of interest for those who want to find out more, because it really is a problem :(
- Recycled cotton, recycled wool, recycled Cashmere... Recycled natural fibers of plant or animal origin.
When you recycle this type of materials (it depends on the factory and spinning of course), sometimes you have to put a part of new material or it is mixed in the composition with other new fibers (tencel or wool or others). In the case of recycled cotton, new cotton is usually also added to improve the quality of the fiber and yarn. Greater length, therefore better quality and durability and less peeling (pilling, to understand each other :)
That is to say, of course you can make a thread, woven only from recycled material, but since it has been previously crushed and the length of the fiber is shorter, it will be a little less quality, thicker thread and shorter fiber. Even so, you always have to look at what you need it for because perhaps it is ideal for the use you need it for.
NEW SUSTAINABLE FABRICS:
Every year fabric fairs are held: innovation and sustainability are concepts that cannot be missing from a few years ago and are increasingly gaining more exhibition space. Premiére Vision , Pitti Imagine , Index, Momad, Ispo , Future Fabric Expo... These are stages where you can see these new fabrics.
Also CLASS and Offset Warehouse , the first as an incubator and library of sustainable fabrics and the second as an online store, offer the option of ordering home samples of fabrics based on banana, milk protein, pineapple skin, seaweed... .
You will know some fabrics, such as the following:
- TENCEL/ LYOCELL:
It is more than known and it is not new, we put it in new, because it really is not an organic, synthetic or recycled material. Tencel (registered trademark) or Lyocell (generic name) is a material similar to viscose or rayon with the same drape and similar properties.
It follows the same process as viscose, that is, it comes from a cellulose fiber developed by dissolving wood pulp that comes from sustainably managed eucalyptus plantations . Very good option as a sustainable material, especially for pants, shirts, dresses and all those garments that you want with drape.
Lyocell fiber mixed with seaweed. That is, cellulosic fiber from certified wood and seaweed.
- ECOVERO VISCOSE:
The sustainable version of viscose. For those who do not know, as we said above, viscose is a cellulose-based material (without being considered a vegetable fiber, because it is transformed) derived from wood pulp and is produced from a chemical process, not very respectful of the environment nor was the felling of trees controlled.
But as a result, a fresh fabric was obtained, with a lot of drape and very soft, an alternative to natural fibers and very easy and beautiful to use.
But they finally created ECOVERO , also owned by Lenzing, which is produced only through wood from certified and controlled forests , with a much lower use of fossil energy and water than conventional viscose.
And...Now, the new and most innovative ones:- PIÑATEX or pineapple leather
It is the most popular alternative to leather on the market. The fibers of the pineapple skin are extracted naturally, dried in the sun and then combined with a corn-based mixture that results in a great alternative to the skin, great designers have been using it for years.
Silk-like fabric made from spider webs . The problem with conventional silk (not wild silk) is that in a conventional and uncontrolled way, it uses a large amount of water in its manufacture and silkworms are raised and killed just to obtain the most intact cocoons possible. Therefore, Microsilk and some of the following options are a very good option to conventional silk fabric. This is developed by Bolt Threads, which through bio-genetic engineering, ferments the yeast from spider webs with water and sugar and obtains large amounts of silk protein. Liquid raw silk is spun into fibers and then woven.
- ORANGE SILK:
Developed by Orange Fiber, it takes advantage of the tons of citrus by-products that are wasted each year in Italy, to, in a similar way to the previous one, extract the citrus cellulose from the peels and convert them into fiber.
Fiber developed in Taiwan by Yingtex, which uses coffee waste along with plastic bottles to create this fiber.
- Q MILK:
Based on milk protein, also from the waste of this industry, it is modified to obtain a natural, compostable and soft fiber similar to silk.
As you can see, the possibilities are endless and we have only named the most common ones. All materials have their pros and cons. So the best advice is: choose based on your concerns in terms of sustainability and the characteristics you need from the fabric, always taking into account the target and temporality of the product.
At Wearth we feel more comfortable using organic, local materials and 100% compositions to make our collections.
We hope it has been helpful to you and stay tuned for the next post ;)