Day 140 / 365
I’ve slowly been making my way through the eco fabrics trying to understand the benefits (and issues, if any) of each one. Delving into the agriculture and technology which brings each fabric to fruition can be a bit of an eye full, but I’m determined to at least try to understand the basics, and eventually decree which ones are top dawg for me.
It’s nearly impossible to share reflections on these fabrics without trying them out, so though I will try to cover each one throughout this 365 day series, it’ll be somewhat sporadically as I’d like to align myself with brands who are using these fabrics in their production, and producing ethically, so I might try to follow the circular story behind their creations.
About a month ago I was introduced to a French brand called Les Sublimes who have chosen to make their entire first collection out of Lenzing Modal (there’s an organic cotton dress in the mix too), so I met with them in person as they’re based in Paris too, to find out about them, their designs, and their choice of fabric.
I first met the two girls who run Les Sublimes, Alexis and Kachen, an eco cafe near their shared workspace which I’d been meaning to try called Fee Nature. They’re young, vibrant, and excited ladies. Like me their expats in France, Alexis is from Canada like me, while Kachen hails from Taiwan (and is mama to just about the cutest little girl I’ve ever seen). They started their brand in an effort to create a brand which embodies their convictions in terms of their ecological and ethical beliefs while also creating quality shopping choices for the everyday woman.
Their collection is a thoughtful selection of basics, I suspect with the true capsule wardrobe in mind. Their colour selections stay with in most people’s go-to colours of white, black and pink and have been designed in a way that they will fit any body type aesthetically.
Les Sublimes is currently raising money through their Indiegogo campaign which will allow them to sell online directly to consumers, keeping the price of their products down. All their fabrics are eco-friendly and sustainably-harvested from natural resources using innovative technologies which reduce water consumption and preserve our ever dwindling eco systems.
On an ethical level they’ve thought it through too, producing almost entirely in France (the fabric comes from an Austrian brand called Lenzing) through non-exploitative employment with the intention of supporting the local economy. Their clothing is produced in a family run business called Confection Perard, a small town atelier in France with 10 employees made up of master craftspeople. The atelier follows strict regulations which guarantee workers enjoy fair pay, regular holidays, health care and a proper pension. Workers are further empowered by training programs designed to expand their skills and support career growth. They also provide a flexible work program which allows mums to work full-time or part-time, from atelier’s or from home.
To top off their conscious creations they have a pretty amazing giveback program working with Panauti Community Homestay in Nepal to help support the tuition fees, school supplies and uniforms for young girls to protect their futures. For each piece you buy (including the ‘perk’ donations) support a young girl in need for one month.
The majority of Les Sublime’s collection is made from Modal which was one of the fabrics I haven’t yet written about for this #GoneGreen2016 series. Modal is a cellulose fibre made from sustainably harvested beech trees in PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes) certified European forests. It is touted as one of the world’s most sustainable fabrics (though I think Hemp still beats it).
In my previous post about cotton, I wrote about how 200 grams of cotton require about 7.5 bathtubs of water to grow, and with non-organic cotton that (fresh) water gets tainted by pesticides poisoning the soil, food and water in the surrounding communities. The other issue with cotton is that it takes about 10 kilograms of raw cotton to produce 1 kilogram of cotton fabric. This is where beech comes out with a win once again, as not only can it grow on non-agricultural land and don’t require irrigation or pesticides, its production requires limited water use and amazingly, 1 kilogram of beech pulp yeilds 1 kilogram of modal fabric, which is a much more promising ratio that its buddy cotton.
It’s also tough and long lasting, it is stain resistant, dries quickly and draped beautifully. It also doesn’t shrink or fade much, so if you find yourself your perfect piece made out of this fabric, its likely to be yours for life.
I always feel cheesy when I try to write reviews, always seems like a sales pitch but I’ll do my best to word this like I would to my sisters. Les Sublimes lent me three of their designs to shoot (I won’t write about brands I haven’t tried myself) and I wandered around my house, and a bit in my neighbourhood for the day.
They’re super effing soft and comfortable and they hang off all the best bits of the body which is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. I had one of my friend’s try one too who has a completely different (longer) body to me, the tops looked even better on her. I’m pretty short so I’ve yet to find a t-shirt that isn’t just that little bit too long. Because of this (as you’ll see in these photos) I’m a (mutha) tucker, and these designs, I suspect because of this fabric, are perfect for tucking as they don’t bunch up in the slightest or show through.
The pretty amazing thing is these babies de-wrinkle pretty easily, things that don’t sort themselves out in the smoothness departments rarely hold their place in my wardrobe for long. I don’t have the patience for anything high maintenance.