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Stinging Nettle Thrives in Netherlands

Who is king on stinging nettle fabric? Well, Brennels claims to be the only company in the Netherlands to grow stinging nettles on a large scale. Driving forces are sustainability, fabric and fashion.

What’s new is the digestion process to produce lighter and more delicate nettle fibers to spin into fine yarns. The company has around 70 hectares of agricultural farmland in the north of the country dedicated to production with three years of extensive research under their belt.

Interestingly, the name Brennels is not a Dutch word. It’s actually derived from the German word, brennessel, which means stinging nettle. And it may be a surprise that Brennels grows organically, but certification is not the goal. In reality, some conventional fertilizer is utilized. Fact is, however, stinging nettle is more sustainably grown than any cotton.

Their current emphasis is that cultivation requires less water. Naturally occurring enzymes found in the nettles are isolated to break down unwanted cellulosic fibers in an anaerobic oxygen-free environment. As a result, the nettle is in a perfect condition without lost of strength and without feeling brittle.

The company teamed up with an Italian spinner to take their eco-textile development to the next level by working on fine-count ring-spun yarns from 100% nettle. Watch the video to learn more.


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Written by Delia Montgomery

I am Delia, d/b/a Chic Eco on, and established myself as an eco fashion guru by learning "who makes what in the world of environmental fashion and design."

Enjoy reading some of my freelance writing about environmental design, fashion and art -- from both consumer and supplier perspectives. You may notice I focus most on individual eco designers, movers and shakers.

From sustainable fashion apparel to paint and flooring, discoveries are a rush. I get my kicks this way. I also offer sales representation of earth-friendly designed products for wholesale buyers. Retailers may take advantage of my services with factory-direct pricing. Spend less time sourcing and prevent green-washed purchases!

My other forte is connecting suppliers with business-to-business tools. Aspects of my business vary with consulting services while I'm proud to be the aide that embraces unique and innovative gigs.

I'm originally a Kentucky Blue Grass gal who relocated to Maui early 2006 and the tropical Puna District of Big Island, Hawaii late 2007. Walk the talk is my motto here.

Early 2009 I constructed a yurt home office in a semi-urban setting on a tiny lot. My water comes from the sky, contained in a catchment that's not likely to dry in this rain forest. The electric is designed for solar conversion. I grow about 30% of my food organically, compost, and recycle to the hilt. Permaculture with a full eco system is my gardening style.

In fact, gardening is my ultimate joy. I seek gigs like design, weeding and planting between other jobs. My love is Hawai'i which has more climate zones than any state. There are frequent earthquakes here, typically under a 3.0 magnitude, and I happen to dig the vibrations. It's a wonderful simple life in paradise. As I grow older and wiser, I become more and more grateful.

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Neroli Rose Green Gifts for the Holidays