A helpful guide to the sustainable fabrics and production methods we use in our designs...
Linen comes from the Flax Plant and is reknowned for it's versatility and strength. It is estimated that linen fibres are up to 30% stronger than cotton, increasing a linen garments lifespan and allowing for longer wear. Every part of Flax can be used to make other products, therefore promoting for zero wastage and it's both recyclable and fully biodegradable when treated using natural dyes. Linen production is also famously cost effective as Flax is super resilient and can grow even in the poorest of soil conditions. This means it uses far less water to produce than cotton as it requires only rainwater to grow (it's estimated across it's life cycle a linen shirt uses 6.4 litres of water in comparison to a cotton shirt which uses 2,700 litres, yikes!)
Made from the industrial hemp plant, or Cannabis Sativa, this durable fibre is often looked at as the OG of sustainable fabrics, and for good reason. Hemp grows prolifically with little water, using around 50% less water per season than cotton. It also uses no pesticides in it's growth, takes up relatively little space whilst growing, replenishes the soil around it with nutrients (returning 60-70% of the nutrients it takes to grow back to the earth), absorbs carbon dioxide at the rate of 22 tonnes per hectare, generates more pulp per acre than trees plus virtually all of the plant can be used to produce a range of items from paper to fuel. On top of this exhaustive list of benefits it's also biodegradable. Truly a sustainability superhero!
Like cotton and hemp, Tencel, also known as Lyocell, is made from plant materials. However, manufacturing Tencel requires less energy and water than cotton and is biodegradable. Tencel has incredible absorption characteristics (it is said to be 50% more absorbent than cotton making it perfect for wear in hot weather).
Tencel is a cellulose fibre created by dissolving wood pulp and drying by using a special technique called spinning. Before drying, wood chips are mixed with a solvent to form a wet mixture which is then pushed through small holes to form threads. The solvent treatment includes the chemical N-Methylmorpholine N-oxide which, thanks to a closed loop production process, can be recycled continuously and used to make new fibres, minimising harmful waste. The recovery rate of this solvent is currently said to be 99%. After this process is complete the lengths of fibre created are then spun into yarn and woven to form cloth.
Organic cotton doesn't use environmentally harmful chemicals in it's production (conventional cotton production accounts for about 16% of the world's insecticides and 7% of pesticides usage). Cultivation of organic cotton is also environmentally positive as it also doesn't damage the soil it's grown in, has less impact on air pollution, uses 62% less energy in it's processing and uses 88% less water than regular cotton to produce as it's 80% rain-fed. This is also beneficial to the local communities where cotton is grown as it is often produced in water-scarce areas using irrigation techniques. The absence of unsafe chemicals means that water sources in the surrounding areas is cleaner and safer for the local population.
Similar to the Made To Order Service, the Bespoke option allows your item to be made to your specific size requirements. Personalising the fit of items benefits sustainability by encouraging wear and care of cherished pieces; i.e. if your clothes fit properly they look better, if they look better you'll feel better and if a piece makes you feel great you are less likely to throw it away. With this in mind, if extending the wear of your items by just 9 months can reduce the carbon, water and waste footprint by around 20% to 30% per garment, investing in pieces you'll wear for a lifetime becomes even more important.
Made To Order
Made To Order means we only make pieces on a purchasing basis. This means we don't waste material if a style isn't popular or create surplus amounts of deadstock that can't be moved. This method helps us generate new styles, repurpose and minimise waste.
Repurposed pieces are made from the remnants of previous designs. For example, if a fabric is discontinued and last of the fabric we have is not enough to make the original piece it can be used to make smaller items such as accessories, insuring that no fabric is wasted or thrown out. This is also known as the 'Zero-Waste' method.
Deadstock is the name retailers give to stock that doesn't sell. Traditionally retailers will send unsold deadstock to landfill. To avoid this practice we only create sample pieces for photography and marketing purposes (that will be sold at a later date) and all other pieces are sold on a 'Made To Order' basis, radically reducing any potential deadstock holding to basically zero.
Any out sourced materials we use as a brand are carefully vetted and must come from Fair Trade vendors. This insures better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and equitable terms of trade are given to any workers and manufacturers that have been involved at any stage of production from start to finish.
To meet the required level to ascertain the Fair Trade label companies must pay for their goods at a level which must never fall lower than the market trading price. This insures potentially vulnerable economies are not taken advantage of, that workers are paid fairly for their skill and enables communities to improve their position and have more control over their lives.
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the leading textile standard for validating organic fibres and is judged on both ecological and social factors. Certification can only be granted once all stages of production have passed testing, this includes the initial handling, spinning, weaving/knitting, wet processing, manufacturing and trading of the finished item.
Having a common standard means textile manufacturers can export their fabrics and garments with a trusted certification that is accepted in all major markets. This transparency also gives the consumer the power to choose authentically organic products sourced from environmentally sound supply chains.
An OKEO-TEX 100 label on fabric certifies that every component (fibres, dye etc) has been tested for harmful substances and has qualified as harmless for human health. Testing is conducted by independent OKEO-TEX partner institutes who examine numerous regulated and non-regulated substances which may be harmful to human health, in many cases exceeding national and international requirements.