Published on July 3rd, 2008 | by Delia Montgomery4
Sustainable Designer Fabric Innovation
There are many reasons to overcome fashion’s destructive downside. Dye and mordant toxins, polluted waste water, and cheap sweatshop labor for production are a few examples. Fortunately, positive and innovative changes make 2009 fabric choices exciting.
This time of year the rag biz is normally showing retailers winter collections. For obvious reasons, fabric mills are more time-advanced. So while you feel the summer heat now, vision cool sustainable fabrics for next year. You can simultaneously be ahead of the game, and be an educated fashion critic!
One sustainable fabric and yarn company to admire is Avanti, located in Tokyo, Japan. Most of their raw certified organic cotton is purchased from Texas. How about that?
Avanti started working with organic cotton far before the craze, — 1990! Japan’s population is historically notorious for technology geniuses. Combine those skills with organic fabric, and wow; they come up every year with great new looks for designers to woo over.
Pictured are both sides of an organic cotton and ramie blend. You probably know that organic cotton is naturally grown with no pesticides, fertilizers, or defoliants applied on the land or plants. Ramie is a vegetable cellulose fiber also known as China-grass, rhea and grass cloth, that is found in the bark of the stalk. Ramie is very fine and silk-like, naturally white in color, and has a high luster.
Avanti came up with this organic cotton and ramie voile, which is similar in appearance to organza. Voile is a plain-weave, crisp, sheer and very lightweight fabric of cotton, rayon, silk, or wool. Cotton voile is ideal for making summer dresses with a favorable drape that designers love.
Avanti’s innovative voile consist of a very high-twisted organic cotton yarn, which spells ultimate quality and style. The wide cross-stripes of the two fibers make a waffle texture. The result is a brisk feel with the slightest wind. Ah, can’t you just imagine the comfortable breeze in summer heat?
Avanti’s manufacturing process is in accordance with strict rules and regulations. Hydrochloric or sulfuric acid, adhesive or glue bonding agents, or synthetic dyes are never used. Substitutes are hot water, low impact and biodegradable anionic, citric or acetic acid. None of their fabrics are dyed. In fact, their materials maintain a natural color of off-white, brown and green. The company is, however, open to discuss with avant-garde designers about custom dyes and prints that meet their ethical standards.