Natural future fibres such as Abaca, Sisal, Coir, Water Reed and Jute are excellent ‘future fibres’. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation describe these materials as ‘an abundant renewable resource par excellence’ that can form part of the overall solution to climate change. Over their life cycles they absorb much more carbon dioxide than they produce whilst releasing a huge amount of oxygen back into the atmosphere, are entirely biodegradable and all their byproducts are usable in some way.
Sisal is a particularly good material as it grows in arid areas where other crops would be unsustainable and Abaca is fantastic at erosion control and improving soil quality; and even its waste materials are used as organic fertiliser. Jute is incredibly strong with high insulating and antistatic properties making it especially useful as flooring in the home, and its crops regenerate at high speed with minimal human interference.
We use these materials abundantly across our collection and, where possible, we try not to back the rugs and carpets so that at the end of their lives they maintain their biodegradable properties.
We are also working with increasing amounts of recycled fibre, rPET, Econyl and repurposed wool. The advances in these materials have been exponential in the last few years. Econyl is a regenerated nylon made entirely from ocean and landfill waste, its closest relative in material is Nylon but with 90% less carbon impact, and is surprisingly soft and wool like. rPET is recycled plastic from water bottles and food packaging, with a low melting temperature and no chemicals required to treat it, it is easily regenerated into soft and supple fibres for weaving.
Our newest project began with recycled wool, which has a limited palette unless dyed extensively and that lead us to researching more about dye composites – and ultimately to starting work on developing a collection using natural dyes made from vegetable and mineral compounds such as Marigold, Betel nut and Acacia bark. We are particularly excited about this avenue as they create a strong saturation and real depth of tone with a low carbon and chemical impact. We can’t wait to show you what we have been working on! Watch this space.
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