‘We love great fabrics, it’s all about quality and making conscious decisions.’
The choice of fabrics for a new collection involves a complex process and a constant balancing between different sustainability aspects such as blended fabrics’ characteristics vs. recyclability, the footprint of natural vs. synthetic fabrics, and many more. But it’s always worth it to take the time and choose right, as the conscious selection of the best fabrics for our pieces promotes a change in the entire value chain and influences the direction of the entire production.
Currently we use a high share of pure fabrics which facilitates the recycling process of worn out pieces. In addition to that, we focus on environmentally-friendly textiles made from sustainably grown fibre crops and recycled materials. We seek to increase the share of sustainable fabrics continuously within our next collections.
Discover the fabrics we use
Organic cotton is grown using environmentally friendly techniques such as crop rotation, no toxic pesticides nor synthetic chemicals and no genetically modified seeds. This means that it needs less water than conventional cotton, enhances biodiversity and protects the health of farmers handling the plants, soils and ecosystems. Organic cotton farmers get access to a market with an increasing demand, allowing them to get better prices. For the customer, organic cotton is breathable, easy to care for and comfortable to wear.
On Forest Derived Fabrics
Many of our beloved fabrics such as viscose, modal, lyocell and acetate, are actually made from wood pulp, bamboo or cotton linters. We are fully aware of the major impacts they can have on the world's forests as well as the risks posed by the chemicals used in their manufacturing process. Yet, these cellulose-based fabrics can be produced in a responsible way and we are strongly committed to doing our part to shape the industry towards this goal. Therefore, we joined Canadian forest protection organisation Canopy and their CanopyStyle initiative. Together we developed our Forest Derived Materials Policy, which you can access here:
MEET OUR FABRIC SUPPLIERS
In order to produce garments of the highest quality with the least impact on the environment, we choose fabric suppliers that match our high standards. We’ve been working with many of the leading European suppliers from day one and are proud of the relationships we’ve built with them throughout the years. Below you can get to know our partners Manteco from Italy, Philea from France and Tintex from Portugal.
‘We choose fabric suppliers that meet our high standards.’
Manteco is an outstanding company in the fashion industry because of their passion for research and innovation, resulting in sublime fabrics. The history of this family owned business goes way back, making high-quality fabrics from virgin and recycled materials for more than 70 years. Manteco has always remained faithful to the “Made in Italy” tradition, refusing to relocate production to countries where the cost of labour is lower. A choice that has allowed to maintain the manufacturing of high quality fabrics well balanced between traditional craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology. The sourced raw materials are rigorously inspected, comply to Ökotex standard 100 and traced back to farm origin. They focus on increasing their use of recycled fabrics according to circular economy principles.
We believe it is never acceptable to harm animals for the manufacturing of products. Therefore, we want to promote the highest standards of animal welfare throughout our supply chain and are strongly committed to the internationally recognised Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare.
Our most used animal-derived fibre is wool. Wool is a beautiful, long lasting and renewable natural fibre with a low impact during its use phase. IVY & OAK’s policy is that wool must be sourced from producers with good animal welfare and husbandry practices, which includes the requirement for the wool to be non-mulesed. We are actively working to have this implemented 100% in the short-term and most of our partners are already onboard. We also want to encourage the use of recycled wool and wool certified organic and responsible in terms of animal welfare.
We have been fur-free from the beginning and we are a proud member of the Fur Free Alliance.
We also never use angora, exotic animal skins, down, feathers, pashmina, llama, shashtoosh, karakul, vicuna, bone and coral, and do not allow any materials that are derived from vulnerable or endangered species. We have never used any Mohair in our collections and are glad to see that the market reacted to the troubling animal welfare NGO reports surrounding Angora goat farms of the past years.
Leather is a tricky one and we had some heated discussion about it. On the one hand it is a highly durable and long-lasting material and develops a fine patina over time. With the right care, it can last a lifetime and be passed on to the next generation. On the other hand it is linked to the meat industry and the tanning process involves a lot of hazardous and damaging chemicals. We use relatively small quantities of leather and we set up a list of strict criteria. From 2020 onwards, we will only buy leather originating from fully traceable sources, as a by-product from meat production, which was tanned 100% chrome-free, from tanneries who participate in the Leather Working Group (LWG) and are rated Gold, Silver or Bronze or can provide credible assurance that they are in the process of being certified in a reasonable timeframe.
We are aware of the environmental footprint of cashmere production and the issues that have arisen as a result of the substantially increasing demand for cashmere, including from fast fashion brands. Our own cashmere footprint is comparably small, as less than 0.5% of our collection contains any cashmere. We regularly assess our impacts and closely follow the development of the recycled and sustainable cashmere fibre market.
We've used very little Alpaca in our collections so far. Most of the world’s alpaca comes from Peru where the animals live free-range usually belonging to smallholders. Alpaca is considered to have a lower environmental footprint than other wool fibres because Alpaca have padded feet (not hooves) that are gentle to the soil, they do not damage root systems when grazing, and require less water and food. Alpaca fibre does not contain lanolin or grease and therefore does not need chemical baths to remove it.
We use very small quantities of silk and will seek to source silk originating from fully traceable sources or certified to relevant standards, with a particular focus on fair working conditions.