Knowing Your Fabric
Origins and Cultivation
Organic cotton is far from a recent innovation. It has its roots in the early 20th century when farmers began experimenting with chemical-free farming practices. The organic cotton movement gained momentum as concerns about the environmental and health hazards associated with conventional cotton production grew.
Organic cotton is cultivated without the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Instead, it relies on natural and sustainable methods, such as crop rotation, organic fertilizers, and beneficial insects to control pests. This approach not only safeguards the environment but also protects the health of farmworkers.
Benefits of Organic Cotton
The advantages of organic cotton are manifold, affecting not only the environment but also the quality of the final product and the well-being of those involved in its production.
Environmental Stewardship: The absence of chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers in organic cotton farming reduces soil and water pollution, preserving the integrity of ecosystems. Moreover, organic cotton farming consumes significantly less water, which is especially crucial in regions prone to drought.
Healthier Farmworkers: Organic cotton farming prioritizes the well-being of those who cultivate the cotton. Farmworkers are not exposed to harmful chemicals, reducing health risks and ensuring safer working conditions
Enhanced Cotton Quality: Organic cotton is renowned for its superior quality. It tends to be softer, more breathable, and hypoallergenic. These qualities make organic cotton an ideal choice for textiles that come into close contact with the skin, such as clothing and bedding.
Non-GMO and Biodiversity: Organic cotton is always non-genetically modified. This preserves biodiversity by preventing the spread of GMOs to other crops and surrounding ecosystems.
Sustainable Practices: Organic cotton farming promotes sustainable practices, such as crop diversity and reduced waste. These practices lead to more resilient and productive agricultural systems.
Fashion Industry and Organic Cotton
The fashion industry has been both a major contributor to environmental issues and a focal point for positive change. In recent years, fashion brands and designers have increasingly embraced organic cotton as a responsible alternative to conventional cotton. This shift has been driven by a growing awareness of environmental concerns, changing consumer preferences, and a desire to uphold ethical standards in the industry.
Fashion made from organic cotton has gained popularity due to its eco-friendly and health-conscious qualities. The choice to use organic cotton is not merely a trend but a reflection of a commitment to sustainability and a willingness to reduce the carbon footprint of fashion.
Sustainability is at the core of everything we Choose or do. Linen is one of the most sustainable fabrics known to man, yet it represents less than 1% of all textile fibers consumed worldwide. Unlike cotton, linen that’s been well cared for can last for up to three decades. It’s one of the oldest fibers known, dating back to 8000BC.
Linen is made from flax plants, a plant that grows without the need for fertilizers or pesticides. 85% of the world’s flax is grown in Europe. The origins of Sustainably U linen fabric are Italy and Ireland, it comes directly to UAE and we source it from local suppliers.
1 hectare of flax can take 3.7 tonnes of CO2 out of the atmosphere. That means from all the linen grown in Europe, around 250,000 tonnes of CO2 is removed each year! This is the same as driving the average car over 560,000,000 miles! Or put another way, it saves enough CO2 to drive around the planet nearly 22,600 times.
Flax thrives in the temperate climates of Western Europe and requires few fertilizers or pesticides to produce. Flax often comes close to the organic standard without even trying. This compares to cotton, which is one of the most chemically intensive crops on the planet.
Linen absorbs moisture without holding bacteria, meaning your clothes won’t get smelly and will require less frequent washing. The less often you wash your clothes, the longer your clothes will last, and the more sustainable your wardrobe is.
Your Luxury closet doesn't need to be taxing on the environment. It can co-exist with a little change in your buying habits.
According to the European Confederation of Linen and Hemp, “Across its lifecycle, a linen shirt uses 6.4 liters of water” compared to 2,700 liters for a cotton shirt.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation state that flax uses 13 times fewer pesticides than potatoes, but is only approximately 1% of the world’s apparel fiber consumption.
Growing flax and weaving it into linen is the least water and energy-intensive part of the linen clothing life cycle. To make one shirt from cotton requires around 4 times the amount of water than is needed to make one shirt from linen.
Linen is 100% biodegradable and recyclable. However, as with any natural material you should be careful about how the fabric might have been treated, particularly the environmental impact of some dyes. Therefore, Sustainably U stays close to natural colors only.
Flax helps to diversify ecosystems, offering a welcome break from intensive agriculture. Go past a field of flax and you will notice it is alive with wildlife, helping promote biodiversity and soil regeneration.
Tencel is considered one of the most environmentally sustainable fabric in the world. Not only is Tencel great because it is made from natural plant materials, the manufacturing process of Tencel also requires far less energy and water than cotton. Furthermore, Tencel is biodegradable (extra credit points!).
Lyocell is sustainable fiber made from wood pulp using an advanced spinning process, and TENCEL™ is simply a brand name for a type of lyocell (think Band-Aid to bandages). There are many types of lyocell in the world, but Tencel tops as one of the most innovative types of lyocell.
The creation process of Tencel is unique in that Tencel is created through environmentally sustainable processes from natural raw wood, referred to as “regenerated cellulose”. This is a process by which raw wood is harvested, broken into wood pulp, dissolved in a chemical solvent, and then pushed through an extruder to form the fibers. The result? Fibers that are ultra plush and soft, like little wisps of cloud.
Here are some of the most notable traits about Tencel lyocell:
Tencel fibers are long laster, wrinkle resistant, and easy to take care of.
Incredibly comfortable and silky to the touch, Tencel's softness cannot be beat.
Tencel has superior moisture wicking abilities to keep your skin cool and comfortable.
Extremely breathable to prevent trapping any sweat during the night.
Naturally anti-bacterial to prevent growth of bacteria and banish unwanted breakouts.
Created in a closed loop process where 99% of water and solvent is reused and recycled.
Let’s take a look at the ways in which Tencel is sustainable, starting at the pulp. The wood and pulp used to create Tencel fabric comes from certified and controlled sources. This means that the wood source will not be over harvested or cause land degradation. The farming of the woods for Tencel requires no irrigation or pesticides. Comparatively, plants like cotton often use an excessive amount of chemical fertilizers and pesticides that causes soil degradation, which reduces water retention capacity and harms the land.
On to the water and solvent. The production process for turning the wood pulp into fiber is done through a closed loop production process, which means that 99% of the water and solvent are reused and recycled again and again to produce new fibers and reduce harmful waste. Unlike cotton and bamboo rayon, which uses various harsh chemicals to break down the pulp, Tencel only uses organic solvents, called amine oxide – which is non-toxic. This organic solvent is recyclable, which means that the oxide can be reused in the manufacturing process again and again. The production also produces no harmful byproducts, since all the water and solvent is reused instead of being released back into the wild.
The purpose of employing a closed loop production process is to create an ultra eco-sustainable fabric. This process reduces the amount of water and chemicals used, and also minimize runoff as well. The production of Tencel also produces absolutely no harmful byproducts. To compare, for 1/10 of the water it takes to generate cotton fabrics, we are able to generate 10x more Tencel fabric. Cotton takes a vast amount of water and pesticides to grow and releases a lot of chemicals back into the land and water after production, while Tencel is able to minimize the need for this.