Sustainable material guide

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Sustainable material guide

If you happen to be a designer, fashion designer or if you're just information-hungry, we made you a list of sustainable materials. Discover some of the groundbreaking possibilities and knock yourself out.

Modal
Modal is a natural fabric with a super soft feel and luxurious look. It's extracted from beechwood: half of the wood used at Lenzing Modal® comes locally from Austria and the rest comes from neighboring countries.

Woodsilk
Beautiful, strong and lightweight. Woodsilk is made out of wood pulp and, you might figured, it's an alternative to silk. The look and feel are pretty much the same, instead this fabric keeps the silk worm alive.

Monocel
Monocel is made of bamboo, through a method called 'lyocell'. This method has been used for producing wood based fibres for nearly 25 years. No residues of harmful chemicals needed.

Eco-leather
We use the term 'eco-leather' for leather that has been treated without the use of harmful chemicals. This kind of leather is organically tanned: a cleaner and safer tanning process that reduces the carbon footprint.

Organic cotton
Growing organic cotton has a positive effect on the lives and incomes of farmers who grow the cotton. The land stays fertile for a longer period plus: organic cotton is healthier for the people wearing it.

Hemp and jute
Hemp and jute are bast fibres and naturally sustainable. These fibres grow well on land unsuitable for food production and may help re-cultivate soils polluted with contaminants such as heavy metals.

Recycled fibres
These fabrics reduce the need for raw materials to create new clothes. It also cuts down demand for landfill space, as textiles take a huge part in landfill related problems.

Linen
It's light and strong, very comfortable to wear and dries quickly. Linen is made from the flax plant. A plant that can grow without hardly using any chemicals and fertilizers. As long as water is available, this plant is happy.

Organic wool
Organic wool suppliers don't use any synthetic inputs; the wool is washed in biodegradable detergent without any use of chemicals. Also: the health wellbeing of sheep is put first.

Mycelium
Mycelium chairs, mycelium lamps and mycelium surfboards. Mycelium, the roots of fungi, is an infinite natural source of organisms that we can use as living glue for binding organic waste, like Eric Klarenbeek did for example.

Cork
It's natural and ecological. Renewable, recyclable and biodegradable. You don't even have to cut down trees to harvest cork. It's bark can be harvested by hand every 9 years and its trees can live up to 300 years.

Sea algae yarn
Sea algae grow faster and need less nutrients than cotton. So a yarn made of sea algae could offer a solution for the sustainability issues in the textile industry. Nienke Hoogvliet used it in a rug, knotted by hand in an old fishing net.

Pineapple leaves
Piñatex is an innovative, natural and sustainable non-woven textile invented by Carmen Hijosa. It's a by-product of the pineapple harvest, so no extra water, fertilizers or pesticides are required.

Fishing nets
'Net-Works' is a project by Interface that uses damaged and discarded fishing nets, recycles it into nylon yarn and turns this into… carpets!

Photograph: Nienke Hoogvliet