Fabrics & Materials
Our co-creative process includes sourcing quality materials and suppliers that align with our vision of regenerative practices. This guideline of using sustainable and organic materials lends to the foundation of our product designs.
Our Hemp supports small co-ops of family farmers who practice companion planting without the use of irrigation, harmful herbicides or pesticides due to inherent properties within the plant. Hemp is considered by many as the most versatile and sustainable plant on earth as it can grow extremely fast and in almost any climate. As it grows it sequesters or captures atmospheric CO2 which remains bonded with its fibers when used as a textile, paper, or building material. Its long taproot helps retain topsoil and serves as an excellent rotation crop. When harvested, leaves are removed from the stalk and left in the field to biodegrade and replenish vital elements in the soil. The hemp stalks are then submerged in water ponds to remove the bark from the core. After sun drying, the plants fibrous skin can be hand peeled and baled for transportation. Next, the hemp is degummed removing the cellulose and lignin from the peeled bark. Any effluent waters are processed through a purification system located on site creating a closed loop system. Fibers are mechanically combed to separate long fibers for creating hemp fabrics and short fibers for blending in organic cotton fabrics.
Our Sustainable Silk directly supports the families in the cottage industry who use traditional methods to create a meticulously handwoven fabric. The process starts with feeding the hand reared silkworms organic mulberry leaves. They are fed at least four times a day for three weeks before the cocooning process begins. The silk that we use comes from two cocoons spun so closely together that they become joined as one stronger double nested cocoon. Once the cocoon cycle is complete, they are placed in water where the end of the thread is found and a single continuous filament of about three quarters of a mile is reeled from each double nested cocoon. Multiple threads are then hand spun together to create a yarn which is hand dyed and hand woven. Using wooden looms silk is produced at rate of about four yards a day. It's important for us to note that the mulberry trees used to feed the silkworms are cared for using organic fertilizers made from the seeds and organic compost of the neem tree.
Organic Cotton is another ecologically responsible material grown from non-genetically modified seeds without the use of toxic pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. Instead, integrated soil and pest management practices are utilized. These practices replenish and maintain soil fertility, promote biodiversity, and provide a healthier working condition for the people working closely with the plants. If you did some research on conventional cotton farming practices you will learn how conventional cotton production is responsible for a large percentage of the world's pesticide and toxic chemical use—more chemicals per unit area than any other crop. We thank those before us who said yes to organic cotton growing practices.
Recycled Polyester (rPET) is produced from post-consumer products like recycled soda and water bottles that otherwise may have ended up in a landfill or incinerator. These recycled materials are collected, sorted, cleaned, and refined into flakes that are spun into a thread and woven into fabric.
Materials Used for Fill:
Above: Organic Buckwheat Hulls, Natural Wool, Organic Cotton
Organic Buckwheat Hulls come from a flowering plant, with no relation to any grain or wheat. Buckwheat is well known for its use as a cover crop that builds organic matter, suppresses weeds, and draws up phosphorous and calcium from deep in the soil. It prevents erosion, attracts many beneficial pollinators like bees, and can be grown without the use of herbicides or pesticides. The plant produces edible seeds called "groats" which are high in nutrients and antioxidants. When separating the seed for consumption, a byproduct from its outer protective casing is created—the buckwheat hull. The hull, like the seed, maintains a strong triangular structure allowing the passage of air between hulls when compressed together inside our liners. This makes it an excellent supportive foundation that naturally forms to the body. Buckwheat hulls provide an ideal material to fill our products, especially our zafus.
Natural Wool is sourced from co-op ranchers who believe in respecting the natural rhythms of raising sheep and maintaining a healthy system in harmony with their flock. Any illness that does arise is considered to be an indication of a system imbalance with a root cause that can be corrected. This means medical treatments and preventive care is rarely needed. Ranchers select sheep that thrive on natural grasses which helps build resistance to disease and enhance the health of the flock. The ranchers also minimize the use of herbicides and pesticides on the sheep and the fields they graze on. The ancient art of guardian animals and dogs are used to help manage and protect sheep from predators. When it comes to harvesting wool, trained shearers who use gentle handling techniques wait for the appropriate weather to shear. When processing wool fiber into batting, the manufacturers use a mild, non-toxic detergent that is biodegradable and leaves no residue. Hence, you may still detect the earthy smell of wool that assures you the wool is natural and not bleached or chemically treated. In addition, wool is resistant to dust mites, mold, bacteria, and mildew, making it hypoallergenic.
Organic Cotton Batting is another material that does not employ the use of harmful pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers. See Organic Cotton above for more information.