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Bamboo Beaus and Linen Lovers

Bamboo Beaus and Linen Lovers

Taking a look at natural fibres

Bamboo. Image credit: Eric Barbeau

Hi everyone,

I hope this finds you well.

As always, we begin by welcoming our new subscribers: Karen, Hannah, Patricia, Mikali, Jennifer, Snow, Stephanie & Jacky. It's great to have you with us.

As a quick FYI: each Sunday I write about something in the spirit of sustainability... and I do my best to make it an educational yet enjoyable read. We post every newsletter into the archive as a resource in case you all of a sudden become curious about e-waste, or how I met my first employee, Chloé, who is the brains behind today's article. 


Chic yet tough. Linen is a super-strong fabric - so of course James wears it on the job.

As the Northern Hemisphere moves into Spring and Summer, you may be putting away your sweaters and pulling out your lighter shirts, skirts, shorts and dresses. Loyal reader Jessica asked some weeks back, if we could deep dive into some specific materials. So today we tackle two natural fibres from her list - Bamboo and Linen - so they'll be top of mind if you're looking for lighter clothing in the coming months.


Bamboo

Bamboo fabric, like many plant-based fabrics, is essentially made by crushing plants into a "mush". To do so, a natural enzyme (sodium hydroxide, NaOH) is brought into the mix to dissolve the stems down, the fibres are then combed and spun into a yarn.


Image credit: PaperPulping

 

Why we recommend it:

Bamboo is super easy to grow: it is mature and ready to harvest after just 4 years. It usually requires no pesticides or fertiliser and it does not use massive amounts of water for irrigation. All these factors make it a sustainable champion!

There is no doubt that bamboo is way more sustainable than cotton, and on top of being really easy to produce, it also absorbs a huge amount of carbon dioxide and releases oxygen. As a fabric, Bamboo is a very breathable material and has anti-bacterial properties. This combination helps to stay fresh for longer and fight odours. In the end, the fabric can be washed less frequently which helps clothes last longer, and that is a big part of a sustainable wardrobe - as we know! 💚


Things to consider:

Bamboo products are eco-friendly as long as they haven't been chemically processed, meaning no harmful chemicals were added. Also, the plant is quite invasive when grown outside of its native habitat, it can easily take over and outcompete native species.


Linen

Flax London create a beautiful range of Linen shirts. They have a nice Instagram too.

Linen is made from Flax, which is environmentally friendly to grow, as it requires little irrigation and little energy to process. The Flax fibres are separated to collect the longest pieces, then they are spun into yarn and eventually woven into fabric.


Why we recommend it:

There are hardly any pesticides involved in the making of linen, as long as it is part of a crop rotation (which helps to protect the soil.)


As a fabric, it is 12 times stronger than cotton which prolongs its lifetime. It is easy to dye and it can be sun-bleached for a lighter colour instead of using artificial agents. It is also cool and has absorbent properties, unlike any other natural fibre. Last but not least, it does not pill and is resistant to stains, meaning they can be washed out at lower temperatures than cotton, for example.


Things to consider:

Linen is more expensive as a raw material than cotton. And that's it! Linen is a really eco-friendly option. We whole-heartedly approve!

The pretty flax plant. Photo: Updesh Raj

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We'll explore other materials - such as Econyl, Tencel, Cupro, Cork and more - in future newsletters. If there's a specific material you'd like to know more about then hit reply and let me know!

Wishing you a nice week ahead,

Jessica x

LUXTRA Founder | Linen Lover | Proud B Corp-er
Jessica Kruger, LUXTRA
 

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