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Sustainable Designer Fabric Innovation

Getting the basics for natural and organic living includes earth-friendly fabrics and yarns. Goods from suppliers are expanding almost as fast as organic foods, yet nay sayers ask, “why bother?”

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.

Related GO Posts:
Fabulous Organic Cotton, Denim, and Calico from Fabrics Ltd (UK)
Fabulous Fabrics: Cotton By Tenfold Organic Textiles

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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