Fashion comes and goes, clothes get worn, passed down, donated and worn until they’re worn out, to which they ultimately end up in landfills. What if there was a way to make clothes from sustainable materials that are long lasting, but also biodegradable?
Leave it to the ingenuity of the people of Switzerland to come up with an answer to that question.
Closing the Clothing Lifecycle Loop
Swiss company FREITAG has come up with a range of materials that close the loop on the clothing life cycle. This sustainable material is called F-ABRIC and can be made into tough, sustainable clothes that will last for years and instead of ending up in landfills on the brink of capacity, these clothes meet an eco-friendly end in your backyard compost pile. Loop closed, the cycle continues!
FREITAG came up with the idea for the sustainable fabrics when they were looking for suitable work wear for their own employees – tough, sustainably made and compostable. Turns out, what they were looking for didn’t exist, so with some ingenuity, research and rigorous testing they created the sustainable material they were looking for all on their own.
What makes F-ABRIC Compostable and Eco-Friendly?
Made from Modal and of plant fibers from flax and hemp, these organic building blocks are 100% biodegradable, easily breaking down in a compost pile and they remain tough and durable for however long an individual chooses to wear it for.
Once the article of clothing has reached the end of its life, all one has to do is remove any reusable buttons and throw the garment in the compost heap!
It may come as a surprise that material could be biodegradable and also strong enough to stand up to human wear and tear. FREITAG assembled a team of textile experts (the F-Crew) who spent several months testing the material for a variety of factors including comfort, toughness, its ability to stand up to some partying (must have been a rigorous process!) and how well it would stand up to the demands of factory life.
The carbon footprint created in the production of textiles can be fairly large with materials being transported hundreds if not thousands of miles during the manufacturing process. This isn’t the case with in the production of F-ABRIC since all production stages happen within a 2500 kilometer radius of their FRIETAG’s Zurich factory.
Strong Enough for a Man, Safe Enough for a Baby
There has been a rising concern about the amount of chemicals that are involved in the creation of clothes. For instance, cotton may be grown from the earth but is still subject to the same harmful pesticides that other crops receive. FRIETAG uses as few chemicals as possible when cultivating plant fibers as well as in the processing of F-ABRIC.
Besides being friendly to the planet, F-ABRIC is also health conscious. So few harsh chemicals go into the production process that the fabric falls under Product Class I of the OEKO-TEX® Standard meaning that it’s a textile item safe enough for babies and toddlers up to 3 years old to use! You can literally swaddle a baby with the stuff without the worry of chemicals harming the child in any way.
There you have it, a means of becoming a greener inhabitant of our planet – eco-friendly clothing that creates an unlikely pairing of style and composting!
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Here’s short video on the entire process: