Organic and recycled cotton
Traditional cotton cultivation is one of the most polluting in the world. The cultivation of organic cotton reduces this impact by being done without chemicals. Although this culture requires a good quantity of water and contributes to the impoverishment of the soil, it remains a good alternative to traditional cotton. Cotton also requires very little processing to produce a quality textile. Although it does not grow in Canada, it can be sourced from the United States. Thanks to its vegetable composition, its fiber is biodegradable. In addition, cotton has a considerable advantage because at the end of a garment's life, it can be shredded and then reused to make a new material.
One of the particularities of cotton is that it is often used as a blend with other textiles. It is an easy care and versatile fabric.
The eucalyptus grows on arid land where it is almost impossible to grow anything else. It is therefore a plant that requires very little water. Moreover, thanks to its resistant nature, it does not need any pesticide. However, this plant does not have the ability to grow in our climate. It is imported from southern Europe or South Africa. Because of its vegetable nature, its fiber is biodegradable.
Eucalyptus fabric absorbs moisture well, prevents the formation of bacteria, is extremely soft, wrinkle-free and easy to care for. It also plays an isothermal role by controlling the temperature of the fabric on the skin. It is therefore warm in winter and cool in summer.
Hemp is a fast growing plant (11 weeks) that requires little water and no pesticides to grow well. Here in Canada, it grows like a weed in many regions. However, the Canadian legislation is restrictive and the producer needs a permit to grow or transform it. Thanks to its vegetable origin, its fiber is biodegradable.
The textile produced by hemp is very resistant, hypoallergenic and non-irritating for the skin. It also has the property of becoming softer and more supple as it is used.
Bamboo is the fastest growing plant. It requires no pesticides and 4 times less water than cotton. Bamboo forests absorb up to 35% more CO2 than other types of forest. Its yield per hectare is among the highest although it takes 3 to 5 years to reach maturity. Thanks to its vegetable origin, its fiber is biodegradable. However, this plant does not have the capacity to grow in our climate and comes from China.
Le bambou est la plante à la croissance la plus rapide. Il ne nécessite aucun pesticide et 4 fois moins d'eau que le coton. Les forêts de bambous absorbent jusqu'à 35% de CO2 en plus que les autres types de forêts. Son rendement à l'hectare est parmi les plus élevés bien qu'il lui faille 3 à 5 ans pour atteindre sa maturité. Grâce à son origine végétale, sa fibre est biodégradable. Cependant, cette plante n'a pas la capacité de pousser sous notre climat et provient de Chine.
The bamboo is the softness to the appointment and in addition, the fabric is highly absorbent.
The wool of the sheep comes from their fleece which is shorn once a year. A single merino sheep can produce 8000 km of wool yarn per year. The wool has limited ecological impacts, mainly due to the treatment of the fiber and the anti-parasite treatment of the animals.
Wool has exceptional characteristics that make it suitable for a wide variety of weather conditions. It has the ability to trap body-warmed air in its fibers, making it the fiber of choice in wet or rainy weather. Merino wool fabrics do not retain odors and are much softer to the touch than other wools. They also require less maintenance than synthetic fibers and cotton, saving energy and water. For a critical look at wool: Click here
Linen is probably the oldest vegetable fiber used for textile production. Its use has decreased with the arrival of cotton. It does not require chemical treatment and its mechanical transformation makes it a textile with a low environmental footprint. For the moment, although the potential exists, there is no flax crop dedicated to textiles in Canada. The main producer of flax is France. Because of its vegetable nature, linen is biodegradable.
It is a textile appreciated for its flexibility and lightness. Due to the insulating property of its fiber, the fabric keeps us cool in summer and warm in winter. In addition, its very resistant property makes it a quality and durable textile that does not lint or deform. Although it can be wrinkled, linen becomes softer and softer with each wash.
It is a technique that is increasingly used in the textile industry. Unlike traditional petroleum-based polyester, it allows for a more environmentally friendly production method and will help reduce the volume of plastic waste. Bottles or plastic waste are crushed, then mixed and transformed into a liquid mass and finally woven into yarn. The yarn is then transformed into material that will be used to produce textiles. For example, a dress could be made from about 80 plastic bottles from marine waste or recycling.
While this is a great way to reuse recyclable materials, we invite you to take a more informed look at : A critical look: recycled plastic textiles.
The latter is derived from organic materials and offers an alternative to synthetic polyesters derived from petroleum while being biodegradable.
Traditionally, polyester is produced by a reaction of an acid and a petroleum-based active agent. In the case of bio-polyester, the latter is replaced by a process of fermentation of corn sugar. This textile contains 37% by weight of annually renewable plant resources.
The bio-polyester, if we compare it with the traditional polyester, has the advantage of consuming 40% less energy of petrochemical origin and of reducing the gases of effect of use. Its vegetable origin also makes it a textile made of renewable material.
The main qualities of clothes made with this material are good elasticity (the clothes do not deform), softness, resistance to chlorine and stains, quick drying and easy maintenance.
As this textile is made of corn, it is not only biodegradable but it could also be manufactured locally.
It is a textile made from recycled polyester or not. This fiber is considered an ecological fiber, because its production requires much less energy and water. It is a production process that uses a third less energy and water than conventional polyester production processes. On average, 1 meter of conventional polyester requires 13 liters of water and 29,000 kilojoules of energy. Ecopolyester, on the other hand, requires 3.9 liters of water and 8700 kilojoules.
Ecopolyester is stretchable, wrinkle-free, dimensionally stable and easy to maintain. It lends itself well to solvent-free, water-based staining.
Some eco-designers put their creativity into practice using recycled textiles and produce unique garments in an environmentally friendly way. They get used clothes in good condition, cut the pieces of fabric in perfect condition and assemble them to make unique clothes.
Made in Canada
There are many reasons to target Canadian-made products. There are of course the aspects of the local economy but also other reasons that are even more important.
Working conditions: We all know about the deplorable working conditions in some countries. In Canada, workers are governed by working conditions that guarantee them a healthy environment and a more adequate salary.
Health regulations: Not only are there Canadian health protection laws, but many Canadian designers who choose to work with environmentally friendly materials also choose dyes that do not contain heavy metals or toxic products, preferring water-based dyes that are also durable.