Soy Fiber: super soft and cozy...often called "vegan cashmere" and made from stuff that would ordinarily go into a landfill...what's not to love?
Back in the mid 1900's Henry Ford was a big proponent of making products from agricultural fibers such as soy and hemp. There are apparently photos of him wearing the first known soy suit. But it wasn't until 1999 that the technology was created that allowed soy fiber to be made on an economically feasible scale. The invention was awarded the gold prize by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 2003. Unlike clothing made from petrochemicals, soy fiber is rapidly renewable and biodegradable thus reducing the burden on the environment. The making of soy fiber also diverts raw material that would ordinarily be part of the waste stream into something not just useful but also beautiful. We carry stuffed animals and baby clothing made from soy fiber. The fabric used for the stuffed animals has a more silky texture while the baby clothes are thicker and somewhere between a two-ply brushed cotton and a smooth cashmere. Soy fiber has the same moisture absorption as cotton but it also "wicks" better making it more comfortable and drier. The one drawback is that manufacturers do not recommend high-temperature drying as it will damage the protein structure of the fibers.
Hemp: can there be a more controversial fiber? Incredibly strong and durable it's a
Hemp fiber is one of the strongest and most durable of all natural textile fibers. Not only is hemp strong, but it also holds its shape, stretching less than any other natural fiber. In fact, hemp is a lot like linen: the more it gets used, the softer it gets, it will last for generations, dries quickly and holds its shape. By some accounts hemp is 8x stronger than linen and even less elastic and since it grows to much greater sizes than linen. Hemp is also an incredibly resource efficient crop to grow producing more fiber per acre than any other plant and leaving its land in healthy condition with farms that have been cultivating hemp for over 100 years still have healthy soil. Hemp is also naturally resistant to mold and UV light and "breathes" well making it a great warm weather, high humidity fabric. We carry home products and messenger and yoga bags made out of this wonder fabric.
Organic Cotton: softer and stronger than its conventional siblings it also saves the environment in ways that you won't believe.
If you have ever shopped in thrift stores then you probably already know this: cotton today is not like the cotton of yesterday. Go to any of those stores that sell $5 t-shirts and you can feel the difference. Their cotton is practically transparent it is so thin and the texture is rough. And that's only what you can see...what you can't see is the fact that traditional cotton cultivation uses 25% of the world's pesticides. And for some people with chemical sensitivity, these pesticides never fully leave the fiber even after many washings. Not just that, but the pesticides and fertilizers used end up finding their way into our waterways where they cause even more damage. According to one study, buying a single t-shirt made from organic cotton saves one-third of a pound of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. On the upside, although it costs a little more you will not believe how strong and soft organic cotton is. Give it a try, you won't want to go back.
Help keep this blog running by donating or shopping at Green and Greener.