Sustainable Material Guide
Sustainable materials are the future of a more environmentally-friendly fashion industry. Safe and ethical work conditions, fair living wages, reduced environmental impact, and carbon footprint is only a few reasons why more and more fashion labels are switching towards more eco-friendly materials. Learn about recycled fabrics, leather alternatives, organic cotton, and more to see how choosing responsible fabrics is changing the world. Let's dive into our comprehensive guide.
What is Apple Skin Leather?
Apple skin is a leather substitute crafted from the scraps of left over apples from the food and drinks industry composed of a minimum of 50% apple skin and core waste.
This innovative fabric recycles food scraps. It uses vegan tanning processes where few toxic chemicals are used. People get irked by the fact that there is still polyester needed in most renditions of apple leather. This is because it is necessary to bind the material and make it durable.
What is chrome-free leather?
Chrome-free leather is chromium-free leather. Chromium is a chemical used in the tanning process of leather and is highly toxic. Chromium cannot be destroyed and once it is put out there it will stay forever.
Chrome-free leather is therefore eco-friendly and biodegradable. In chrome-free leather, they use vegetable tanning instead of chromium tanning, where it’s made out of bark or plant tannins.
Benefits of chrome-free leather
The main benefit of chrome-free leather is its environmental factor since chromium-free means less water, less waste, and less pollution. By consciously buying chrome-free leather you have all the benefits of regular leather without feeling bad about the environment and feeling good about yourself. Chrome-free leather creates a more circular solution for the waste of the meat industry and supports eco-friendly fashion.
What is Cupro?
Cupro is a material that is made from a combination of recycled plant-based fibers, treated with chemicals, and resembles silk. It is regular rayon fiber that is made from dissolving cellulose in cuprammonium solution. This might sound very scientific and complex, but in short, it just means that cupro is made from cotton waste (the tiny fibers - also known as linter - that stick out and are too small to spin) that gets dissolved in a mixture of copper and ammonium and then spun into fiber.
Benefits of cupro:
One of the main benefits of cupro is that it is plant-based, making it vegan and cruelty-free. Cupro is also said to have all the positive qualities of silk: it’s silky-smooth and drapes just like the luxurious material. Vegan silk is mostly made from cupro material.
Another very important benefit of cupro is that it is recycled cotton waste, hence making it sustainable. Since we all know by now how harmful and wasteful non-organic cotton production is, it’s very important to use all the cotton plants.
What is Econyl ®?
Econyl ® is a nylon yarn made from regenerated fishing nets, fabric scraps and industrial plastic. Econyl ® reuses discarded materials, so it directly diverts waste and plastic that would otherwise be polluting ecosystems away from oceans. Not only that but it also saves crude oil, and produces lower CO2 emissions, making for a much healthier atmosphere. It regenerates nylon, producing a fibre which is as usable and versatile as nylon without losing the quality or functionality. The products can be infinitely recycled.
What is leather?
Leather is a thick, durable, and flexible material that is obtained by a process called ‘tanning’ various animal skins. The most common leathers come from cattle, sheep, and goats.
After the tanning process of the leather, it becomes rot-proof and hence usable. The process of tanning just means using different chemicals to turn the animal's skin into a wearable material. After that, the leather can either be dyed into different colors or just left in a natural state.
The leather, that you can find at Verse Good Store, is reworked deadstock fabric as we support the brands who still want to practice sustainability and slow fashion.
Benefits of leather
• Water-resistant • Extra protection • Easy to clean
• Timeless style
What is linen?
Linen is best described as a fabric that is made from very fine fibers, derived from the flax plant. These fibers are carefully extracted, spun into yarn, and
then woven into long sheets of comfortable, durable
fabric called linen fabric. It’s quite soft, lightweight, and
dries very quickly making it perfect for clothing but also bed sheets.
Benefits of linen
Antibacterial - linen is entirely antibacterial. Harmful bacteria and other germs have a difficult time surviving within the fine and closely woven fibers, making linen a highly desirable fabric.
Strength and durability - Linen is known as the
world’s strongest natural fiber and is far more
durable than cotton. Linen clothing is very long-lasting.
Easy to care for - Linen fabric can be machine washed Suitable for every season
Perfect for summer fashion: it is lightweight, breathable, moisture-wicking... But people also choose to wear linen clothes in spring, autumn, and even winter, too. Flax, from which linen is made, is used to make home insulation products. The reasons behind it are the same as with clothing: flax/linen are natural insulators and are capable of releasing excess humidity.
What is ‘organic cotton’?
Well, organic cotton is just a fancy way to describe the growth of cotton without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and synthetic fertilisers. This means that organic cotton growth has a lower impact on the environment compared to conventional cotton growth. Due to the reduced use of toxic pesticides and fertilisers, clothes made out of organic cotton feel better and softer on the skin and that’s a personal tip we’re giving you.
Benefits of organic cotton:
Organic cotton is extremely soft on your skin and it is
also way better for the environment than conventional cotton and healthier for farmers to grow organic cotton as the working conditions are less dangerous. If we want to get technical, organic cotton uses 88% less water and 62% less energy than regular grown cotton.
There is no use of toxic chemicals, the environmental impact is smaller when growing organic cotton, as when conventional cotton is grown, farmers get sick and suffer from skin conditions as they are constantly exposed to harsh chemicals.
By buying organic cotton that is organically farmed, you support these farmers and help them feel better about their jobs while you also get to feel better about yourself in your comfy clothes.
Supporting sustainable practices and reducing the impact on the planet is just an extra cherry on top!
What is plant-based leather?
Vegan leather can be made from a lot of materials such as apple peels, pineapple leaves waste, cork, other fruits’ waste, mushrooms, cacti, or even recycled plastic. For example, one of our favourite fashion brands - Virón, uses apple peel leather! It’s good for the planet, good for the animals and good for your soul. Vegan leather has been growing quite a lot recently, so everything you would usually get in leather you can now also get in different forms of vegan leather.
Benefits of vegan leather:
Besides the obvious benefit of vegan leather being more eco-friendly and cruelty-free, there are other very appealing benefits. Vegan leather requires way less water for its production, it also uses way less toxic chemicals and it’s practically non-polluting. Many clothing brands that use vegan leather are trying to become carbon neutral. Moreover, plant-based vegan leather is biodegradable meaning that it will not end up in the infinite waste of landfills.
What is a polyester blend?
Polyester blend, also known as poly-blend, is the term used to explain the combination of polyester fibers mixed with natural fibers. The fibers are then spun together into a fabric, the most common poly-blend fabrics/materials are poly cotton, linen blends, or Terrycot.
Benefits of polyester blend
• Poly-blends tend to be stronger than their natural alternatives
• The addition of poly-blends also adds strength to the fabric
• poly-blends are less expensive than entirely natural textiles
• Cotton makes up a high percentage of arable land, poly fabrics save that farming being as
necessary on a larger scale
What is Recycled Nylon?
Recycled nylon is mostly made from post - industrial fabric waste, although it also comes from post- consumer waste like nylon carpets, tights and industrial fishing nets. It is a great solution to take the plastic waste out of the oceans and create a durable product which saves water, energy and fossil fuels.
Recycled nylon is high quality and extremely durable, so nylon is often used for technical, high performance products like active and sports clothing. It is also endlessly recyclable allowing it to continue it's life cycle seamlessly.
Although these are the main sustainable fabrics that we look for when curating our collections, there are many innovations happening especially in the footwear and accessories industries. By utilising discards from the food and drink industry there is even grape leather on the market. Stay tuned because we will bring you all the information as we receive it.
What is a recycled pet?
The term PET is short for polyethylene terephthalate and simply means plastic bottles. So recycled PET is just a fancy term for recycled plastic bottles that have been turned into a fabric/material used to make new creations. To turn these bottles into the material, the plastic is sterilized and crushed. It is then spun into a string of yarn which can be transformed into a fiber and then blended into a fabric.
Benefits of PET / recycled polyester:
There are many benefits to using recycled PET material to make clothes and other creations. It reduces landfills, reduces soil contamination, and thus also reduced air and water pollution, and it also requires less energy. Moreover, making conscious choices like buying clothes made out of recycled plastic bottles/recycled materials supports not only the planet and the growth of sustainable fashion but also gives living wages as the more sustainable fabrics are made in a safer supply chain.
What is Tencel?
Tencel is an environmentally-friendly material created from sustainably-sourced eucalyptus trees. It's made using a unique drying method called spinning, using eucalyptus wood pulp.
Benefits of Tencel
breathable - naturally breathable, so air can flow in and out of the material and prevent heat retention
Durable - more durable than organic cotton. Also, Tencel tends to feel softer after every wash.
Appearance - Tencel looks and feels like silk
Hypoallergenic - not only is Tencel soft, but the natural fiber doesn’t irritate sensitive skin.
Also, Tencel’s moisture-wicking properties ensure the fabric is less susceptible to bacteria growth.
What is viscose?
Viscose is a semi-synthetic type of rayon fabric made from wood pulp that is used as a high-quality silk substitute, as it has a similar drape and smooth feel to the luxury material. The term “viscose” refers specifically to the solution of wood pulp that is turned into the fabric. Viscose is semi- synthetic due to the many chemicals involved in the viscose process, like sodium hydroxide and carbon disulfide.
Benefits of viscose:
Viscose has many benefits to it, it is absorbing which means it doesn’t trap heat but nicely absorbs sweat or water making it perfect for athletic wear. It’s also very airy and breathable which makes it perfect for summer dresses and blouses for the hot summers. Viscose is very soft, it looks like luxurious silk but feels like cotton (organic cotton of course). Lastly, viscose can hold dye for a very long time, meaning that your colored garments will not fade for a long time.
What is wool?
Wool is a type of fabric derived from the hairs of various animals. There is a variety of distinct types of wool that producers derive from animals other than sheep. Wool is made by spinning the hair of various animals into yarn, and then using that yarn fabric can be made. Wool is used for cashmere, fleece, fur, and many other popular fabrics.
It’s also very common to use a wool blend, which is a blend of wool coming from different animals. It could also be that wool is mixed with completely other fabric. Most people think wool comes from sheep, but that is only partially true. Wool can be made from several animals including sheep, goats, camels, rabbits, alpacas, and many more.
Benefits of wool
• Natural and renewable - naturally produced by nature and is not a manmade fiber • Safe- it has a naturally high UV protection
• Fire retardant
• Biodegradable - takes only a few years to decompose
• Durable - single fiber can be bent 20,000 times without breaking and still have the power to recover and return to its natural shape, this reduces the need to replace garments and top- quality wool products stay looking good for longer
Breathable - it has a large capacity to absorb moisture vapor and sweat next to the skin making it extremely breathable.
Easy care - find out more here