Organic Clothing Materials – Cotton, Hemp, Silk, Soy and Bamboo
Eco-Friendly Organic Clothes
At Xylem Clothing, our dedication to sustainability, appreciation for beauty and commitment to durability lead us to source the finest organic and Eco-friendly fabrics available. Meticulously chosen for quality, purity and comfort, our fabrics embrace the body in natural beauty. Being both ecologically and socially responsible, all our fabrics are fair trade and sweatshop free. Safe for the earth and safe for your skin, each garment is hand colored in small batches using low impact dyes, and the vibrant colors stand the test of time with enduring beauty. Using the highest quality organic cotton, recycled soy fiber, hemp, tencel, silk and wool fabrics Xylem brings you quality Eco-conscious clothing rich in style and natural elegance.
Recycled Soy Fabric Fiber
Known as “vegetarian cashmere”, soy protein fiber is soft and supple with luxurious luster and elegant drape. It has a cashmere feel, but is smoother on the surface. The moisture absorption is similar to that of cotton but its ventilation is superior. Soy fabric has high breathability, excellent absorbency, great color retention, natural wrinkle resistance, and does not shrink from heat as much as other natural fabrics. Soy fabric is extremely durable, with a breaking strength greater than cotton, silk and wool. The structure and pigment of the fibers makes soy fabric easy to color with low eco-impact dyes. And its ultra-violet resistant properties protect it from fading and splotching. So it has vibrant longevity of color. Soy fiber fabric also contains bacteria resisting compounds that actually help protect the body from harmful bacteria.
How its made:
This exceptional eco-friendly fiber is made from the renewable resource of the unused soy protein remaining after the production of other soy products like tofu, soy milk and soy oil. While this is a chemically intensive process it is a closed loop system, meaning they reuse the chemicals over and over rather than dumping them after a single use. This practice of converting waste materials into other products of better quality or higher environmental value is known as “up cycling.” Our “up cycled” soy cashmere is blended with organic cotton and a little spandex for the perfect fit to create an Eco-friendly fabric that is both sensual and practical.
Soy Fabric history:
Although it’s explosion into the fashion world is relatively new, soybean fiber actually made its debut in 1937 when it was invented by Henry Ford. During the great depression Ford was dedicated to the use of soy beans for food, fuel and fiber. He promoted soy beans as a natural nitrogen fixer for soil, a health food, a biodegradable plastic, a clean fuel, and fabric. He was often seen decked out in his snazzy soy suit and tie. Using soybeans as a miracle crop that provides many products was seen as a way to support family farms, create jobs and stabilize the economy.
However, after WW2, the use of petroleum and other chemicals stimulated the growth of the rayon, nylon and cotton industries. Soy fiber was all but forgotten about until the search for a truly sustainable fabric re-birthed the soybean into the fashion world in 1998. This time it was Mr Li Guanqi of China who perfected the process, creating the even softer, cashmere-like soy fabric that is revolutionizing the Eco-fashion industry today.
XYLEM FUN FACT: Our Soy Bikini Panties are our most popular organic intimate item this year.
Organic Cotton Clothing
Why use organic cotton?
Non-organic or conventionally grown cotton is considered one of agriculture’s dirtiest crops. About 25 percent of the world’s insecticide use and more than 10 percent of the world’s pesticide use is for cotton crops. Conventional cotton also requires very large amounts of chemical fertilizers to replace nutrients into the soil.
These nitrogenous fertilizers seep into the ground water harming wildlife and poisoning drinking water. The conventional conversion of cotton into fabric also depends on heavy use of toxic chemicals at each stage. Silicone waxes, harsh petroleum scours, heavy metals, ammonia and formaldehyde along with others get flushed into the water and leave residues in the fabric that can potentially harm the wearer.
Many of the chemicals used in the production of conventional cotton are considered to be some of the most toxic chemicals in the world and do great harm to people, wildlife and the environment.
Organic cotton, on the other hand, is an ecologically responsible and green fiber. Grown and processed without the use of toxic chemicals, it is never genetically modified. Instead, organic cotton farmers use innovative techniques to enrich the soil and protect cotton plants from insects and pests. Crop rotations along with composting systems build healthy soil. Integrated pest management strategies use natural predators and certain companion plants to keep pests away. The natural process of growing organic cotton supports healthy ecosystems and the biodiversity that is crucial to a livable planet.
The process of turning organic cotton into fabric uses only chemicals that are approved by organic certifying agencies. There are no harmful residues left behind which endows organic cotton with the comfortable assurance that you are not absorbing toxic chemicals through your skin.
Working conditions for all stages of our organic cotton fabric production are certified fair trade. The work environment is safe and healthy, the employees are treated with respect, paid fairly and have health insurance and maternity and sick leave.
When you make the choice to use organic cotton you not only support the preservation of a livable planet, you also support conscientious farming and production communities who have been producing cotton fabric without toxic chemicals for years. Their dedication and diligence produces organic cotton that is far superior to conventional cotton in both quality and safety.
XYLEM FUN FACT: Our Organic Cotton Bras are a popular organic cotton item this year.
Hemp has a sensuous drape and hang, similar to that of linen. It is also extremely durable, yet insulating making it desirable for both blistering-hot summer and bitter-cold winter wear. We use 100% pure hemp, as well as tencel, wool, and silk blends.
Tencel is the trade name for a human-made, natural fabric called “Lyocell” that is cool and breathable, like rayon, with a gorgeous, flowing drape. Tencel is made from the cellulose of farm-raised trees, grown on land that has been deemed unsuitable for food growth or animal grazing.
Our bamboo fabrics are made with both bamboo fibers and bamboo pulp. They are soft and silky to the touch, drape well, and possess properties of excellent moisture absorption and permeability. The raw material bamboo is certified organic. Our bamboo yarn is certified by Oeko-Tex Standard 100 which is safe even for baby products. In addition, our fabrics meet international Restricted Substance Limits standards.
While bamboo fabrics have become increasingly popular, bamboo pulp-made fabric (also known as bamboo viscose) has been facing controversy with questions raised about its production methods, which are similar to wood pulp rayon’s. Concerns have been raised about the safety of the chemicals used in bamboo viscose making and the pollution that may result from their use. We’ve been working very closely with our suppliers to produce fabrics in an ecologically responsible manner with minimal environmental impact.
To this end, there have been improvements in extraction and renewal treatments for wastewater, including an advanced floating air treatment system that has been installed that removes up to 99% of the suspended solids, reclaiming the treated water. Our contract yarn supplier executes strict controls on safety operations and exhaust emissions.