Organic cotton is grown in more than twenty countries, mainly Turkey, India, China and the United States. The growers make three types of statements to promote organic cotton: environmentally friendly growing practices, lower allergen sensitivity for those who wear organic cotton clothing, and fair trade practices.
Conventional cotton cultivation uses huge amounts of pesticides and fertilizers (20% of pesticides and 8% of fertilizers used worldwide according to the Cotton Exporter's Guide published by the WTO in 2007).
Organic cotton yields are lower than conventional cotton yields, which is why it is more expensive. It's also less commonly grown, since it is less profitable.
"Farmers wishing to convert to Organic Agriculture will have to go through a conversion period of one to three years, depending on the history of land use. The conversion period enables the soil and the environment to recover from previous cultivation, while applying organic methods of production. The “in-conversion” crops cannot be sold as organic, and do not usually fetch a premium in the market. The risks and costs of conversion are a major barrier to the adoption of organic agriculture. Organic production is generally more labour intensive, and yields may be – but are not necessarily – lower than in conventional production." (Cotton Exporter's Guide, WTO 2007).
Organic cotton is relatively rare. Production began in the United States and Turkey in the early 1990s. Today Turkey and India are by far the two largest producers.
Lyocell is a fibre made from wood cellulose, more precisely from eucalyptus cellulose from sustainably managed forests. It is a biodegradable fabric. Lyocell is produced by Lenzing AG in Austria and sold under the brand name Tencel.
Tencel has a very soft and silky feel. It has similar properties to wool because it keeps you warm. But it also keeps you cool, like linen. It wicks away about 50% more moisture than cotton, which is nice when you perspire. It is also great for allergy sufferers.
Tencel fabrics are very strong. They can be machine washed at 60° C and tumble dried (however always check the recommendations on the labels of your clothes. You never know!).
We understand why Tencel is used for yoga clothes.
Like Tencel (see above), Modal is a registered trademark of Lenzing, in Austria. Like Tencel, Modal is made from wood cellulose, this time from beech wood.
Fabrics made from or containing modal remain supple and soft even after repeated washing. Mineral deposits from hard water cannot stick to the fabric. Moreover, modal is shrink-resistant (Wikipedia).
Modal is produced in Austria, near the beech forests, and Lenzing says its manufacturing process (Edelweiss Technology) is CO2 neutral. This is a very important point.
Modal fibre is lightweight, very soft (two times softer than cotton) and probably has a lower impact on the environment. It is sometimes blended with cotton, wool or silk.
As its name suggests, recycled polyester is made from used plastic bottles or other plastics, preventing them from ending up in the landfill. It consumes less energy to produce than conventional polyester. This is a smart way to help clean up our planet and avoid consuming new resources.
BR4 is a new Fabric made by a family owned Italian Company: Brugnoli, based in Como for 65 years. Made from Castor Seeds, BR4 is the most eco-sustainable fabrics ever made.
First, because Castor Bean is a plant which grows on arid lands and doesn't need water. Because here, its cultivated without chemicals ( no fertilizers, no pesticides, no herbicides). Because it doesn't have any impact on the food chain. Thus, BR4 is 100% Natural and bio-based. No more plastic particules in wasted waters released by our washing machines in rivers and oceans. With the qualities of Nylon, but without plastic nor Oil.
Then because the process itself to make it saves water ( 2500 liters per 1000 meters of fabrics) and saves energy ( 98 KW h per 1000 meters of fabrics). I has a lower impact on Climate Change ( -25% compared to a standard polyamide. Source: LCA- Life Cycle Assessment based on PEF method (fulgar 2017)).
BR4 fabrics is extremely comfortable with high technical performance such as shape memory, temperature regulation, bacteriostatic, quick dry ( 50% quicker than a Polyester), very resistant to washings, UV protection, Soft Touch, odor control, lightweight ( -22% compared to a Polyester).
BR4 is knitted, dyed and finished in Italy. It's 100% made in Italy.
To be known: Castor Bean is a plant that grows quickly to form a shrub which can reach 4 meters high. It is planted in Spring and Harvested in Autumn. Spectacular with its palm leaves and its grapes of spiny fruits of velvety purple. It grows on arid lands and needs very little water. It's a renewal ressource since it's an annual plant.