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When purchasing an outfit, we know we’re making much more than a fashion statement. For better or for worse, we’re also making an environmental impact. That’s why, when it comes to clothing and fabric, we believe in quality over quantity. And what better way to prioritise quality – and the environment – than by choosing sustainable textiles and eco-friendly fabric?
Sustainable fabrics offer loads of benefits for the planet, your wardrobe, and even your bank account. We’re going to dive into questions like “what are sustainable fabrics?” and “is cotton biodegradable?” But first, let’s discuss what sustainable fabric really is.
Because it uses a lot of water, pesticides, and takes up land which could otherwise be used for crops, cotton is not often considered as sustainable. That is, unless it’s organic cotton! Organic and sustainable cotton is a very in-demand fabric choice when it comes to ethical shopping. It’s grown and manufactured in a way that minimizes the environmental impact and supports livelihoods and communities.
Is cotton biodegradable? Yes! Since it’s a natural fabric, this sustainable textile is completely biodegradable.
Another sought-after sustainable clothing material is viscose, but again, this depends on how it’s made!
Viscose is a semi-synthetic type of rayon fabric made from wood pulp and is often used as a substitute for silk. Viscose such as Lyocell, Tencel, Modal, and Refibra are made from sustainable forests and have a much kinder chemical process which doesn’t use nasty chemicals. The process to make Lyocell is actually completely waste-free, for example, as every biproduct is recycled in some way. This sustainable material is absorbent, lightweight, breathable, and soft.
Is viscose biodegradable? Yes, it is! While viscose is not the eco-friendliest material out there, it’s a great biodegradable fabric compared to acrylic, nylon, and polyester.
Sustainable fashion materials are very durable and built to last, making them easy to care for! There should be no issue using a machine to wash your sustainable items, but always be sure to check the tags to be on the safe side. Unless the tags say otherwise, opt for a mild detergent when cleaning your clothes. And, if you want to give your garments a special treatment, try Ultimate Care Fresh Skies.
Fabric conditioner is also sustainable as it helps keep your clothes like new – reducing the need to replace them! Added in the final stage of the washing process, Comfort coats the fibres of your clothes and helps to keep them soft, smelling great, and able to retain their shape and colour. It helps to keep them from bobbling and makes them easy to iron, and with less static. Not only will you be taking extra care of your clothes with this 100% recycled fabric conditioner, but you’ll also be taking extra care of the environment.
Now that you have a better understanding of what it means to shop for sustainable fabric, you can make more informed, mindful decisions when buying clothes. Whether it be asking “is viscose biodegradable?” or figuring out what certifications to look for on a tag, you’re already one step closer to improving your wardrobe and our beautiful blue planet.
What is Stretch Fabric?
Summer is now rapidly approaching, and all around us, we see the reemergence of outdoor activity. The beaches are becoming more crowded and public pools have shed their winter tarps. While stores have begun to line their shelves with the newest swimwear fashion. But, whether you know it or not, those swimsuits wouldn’t be nearly as stylish or practical without one important material, stretch fabrics. Stretch fabrics can actually be found throughout your everyday life, often allowing you to go about your day in comfort. While stretch fabrics are an important piece of your life, they tend to go overlooked. So instead, let’s dive into a deeper understanding of just what goes into this special fabric, and why it all matters.
In the 1960s, DuPont, a chemical company, developed a new process for manufacturing fabrics that could stretch without damaging its structural integrity. What DuPont created was stretch knit fabrics, a malleable yet durable fabric that could easily be distorted, only to return to its original form. Where stretch fabrics differ from woven fabrics is the knit pattern that uses interlaced loops, compared to the grid pattern of fibers that can be found in woven materials.
This new innovation was originally exclusively used in producing swimwear and women’s bras. However, its knit designed, coupled with naturally elastic fibers, made stretch knit the fabric of choice for many athletes. In the mid-1980s, a major shift occurred when designers began to incorporate stretch fabrics into mainstream fashion. Today, you can still find stretch fabrics in swimwear as well as countless other products, everything from leotards to blue jeans. If you go for a run, chances are your entire outfit is made from stretch fabrics, even your running shoes. If you’re relaxing at home in your jeans and sweatshirt, there are actually stretch fibers in those items too.
Oxford cloth is a very popular shirting fabric, particularly for more casual or sporty styles of dress shirts. It’s a bit thicker than what we’d consider “fine” dress shirt fabrics, and has a hearty feel that is both durable and naturally resistant to wrinkles. Oxford cloths can be found in a variety of qualities.
40/1×24/2: This is the classic heavier weight oxford cloth. These are generally much thicker than the average shirt fabric. Make for really great casual shirts. They are very durable and can be washed/dried with your socks and t-shirts and worn a bit wrinkly. A good one will be quite soft to the touch and get better with age.
80s two-ply: This is the classic pinpoint oxford cloth. It’s a nice quality oxford cloth weave with a dense enough texture that works well for conservative business settings. Thicker than broadcloth and relatively opaque, this is the classic Brooks Brothers style shirt.
75/2×38/3: This construction comes from Thomas Mason and is what we like to call a “premium oxford”. It has a similar thickness and heartiness to the basic heavy oxford, but it is simultaneously a bit smoother and more refined. The result is a shirt that looks great a bit rumpled casually, but can also be ironed up sharp for a slick suited look.
50s single-ply: A crisp but lighter weight oxford. Can usually be found in interesting patterns or colors. In appropriate patterns these can make for great business shirts or relatively sharp casual shirts.
Overall, a nice casual oxford cloth shirt is a wardrobe essential for its durability and versatility. Pair it with a button down collar for the low-maintenance OCBD.
Good Fiber, Bad Fiber
Fiber can influence many aspects of health.
From gut bacteria to weight loss, it is often considered a fundamental part of a healthy diet.
Most people have a very basic understanding of fiber, and tend to lump it all into one category.
However, the truth is that not all fiber is created equal.
Some types are highly beneficial, while others can cause digestive problems in some people.
This article explains everything you need to know about the different types of fiber.
What is Fiber and How is it Classified?
“Fiber” refers to a diverse group of carbohydrates that humans can not digest.
We lack the digestive enzymes required to break them down, so they pass through most of the digestive system unchanged.
The recommended intake is 38 grams for men, and 25 grams for women. However, most people are only eating around half of that, or 15-17 grams per day.
Fiber is mostly found in plant foods, including vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
What is fiber?
Fiber is a blanket term that applies to any type of carbohydrate that your body can’t digest. The fact your body doesn’t use fiber for fuel doesn’t make it less valuable to your overall health.
Dietary fiber can offer the following benefits when you consume it:
Reducing cholesterol. Fiber’s presence in the digestive tract can help reduce the body’s cholesterol absorption. This is especially true if you take statins, which are medications to lower cholesterol, and use fiber supplements like psyllium fiber.
Promoting a healthy weight. High fiber foods like fruits and vegetables tend to be lower in calories. Also, fiber’s presence can slow digestion in the stomach to help you feel fuller for longer.
Adding bulk to the digestive tract. Those who struggle with constipation or a generally sluggish digestive tract may wish to add fiber to their diet. Fiber naturally adds bulk to the digestive tract, as your body doesn’t digest it. This stimulates the intestines.
Promoting blood sugar control. It can take your body longer to break down high fiber foods. This helps you maintain more consistent blood sugar levels, which is especially helpful for those with diabetes.
Reducing gastrointestinal cancer risk. Eating enough fiber can have protective effects against certain cancer types, including colon cancer. There are many reasons for this, including that some types of fiber, such as the pectin in apples, may have antioxidant-like properties.
Fiber offers many health benefits, but it’s important to incorporate fiber-containing foods gradually over the course of a few days to avoid adverse effects, such as bloating and gas.
Drinking plenty of water while you up your fiber intake may also help keep these symptoms at bay.
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