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Cotton Candy: Thoughts on sustainability in fabrics with cotton and Lyocell

Cotton Candy: Thoughts on sustainability in fabrics with cotton and Lyocell

I understand that people are annoyed when something is dug up again, that actually is not as good as his reputation. Especially on the topic of climate protection, there are new bad news every day: avocados consume tons of water, streaming generates about 300 tons of CO2 / per year and now theres Manitober again and says that cotton is bad. Not per se, but the fiber consumes a lot of water before it turns into a T-shirt. In addition, it grows only in tropical, structurally weak regions of the world that are not necessarily nearby. We‘ve often said that most chemical fibers are derived from oil and thus from non-renewable raw materials. Cotton, on the other hand, keeps growing and therefore makes more sense. But we wouldn't be Manitober if that would be enough for us. That's why we've been talking  about how we can make T- and sweatshirts even better without sacrificing the familiar comfort. I read about "wood" T-shirts that are getting more popular. Of course, these t-shirts are not made of wood in the true sense, but of viscose, better LYOCELL, a fiber by Lenzing. These are spun from cellulose which can also be obtained from wood (actually from any plant). If this wood or bamboo is sustainably produced, the production of the fiber is more advantageous in terms of water consumption and CO2 balance despite the use of chemical additives. Anyone who ever had a garment made of viscose /lyocell or something similar in the hand, might have noticed the light touch, the shimmer and the velvety handle. In contrast to the cotton, which comes along rather pungent, it is already quite a big difference and I'll say it this way: a matter of taste ... The common wood shirts also come as a fiber blend therefore more difficult to recycle. You see, it's relatively difficult to judge what makes more sense now and whether we can't get any worse ... However, after some back and forth, we decided to make our T-shirts from a blend of 67% organic cotton in the future and 33% lyocell. It combines the care and wearing properties of viscose with the feel and look of cotton and has a lower impact on the environment... fingers crossed it‘ll be ready for the next season!!

.de = Digitales Entwicklungsland (digital developing country)

.de = Digitales Entwicklungsland (digital developing country)

I've set up my business with the intention to be able to work almost none restrictions anywhere in the world. Actually. Because the requirements for this would be a reasonably fast Internet access and that is even some places in Germany already a hurdle, even with a cell phone with multiple sim cards. Here we are at the right entry point: Germany is the only country that bundles new mobile radio frequencies to the highest bidder - and indeed for billions. The high costs caused by that are put on customers, which is why mobile communication in Germany is still absurdly expensive in contrast to other European countries ... In addition, the companies then lack the money for a nationwide expansion of the infrastructure (although the expansions are actually subsidized) 

I don’t want to say that this will contribute to the gentrification of my neighborhood, but it will certainly mean that some companies avoid structurally weak regions. A vicious circle. Of course, there are also "stationary" broadband Internet, DSL, cable, fiber optics. The expansion of all technologies has progressed very differently, but is only in the midfield in a global comparison. The proceeds from the sale of the 5G spectrum should finance both broadband expansion and the digital pact, an offensive to digitize education. Apart from the dubious funding, equipping schools with media will be of no use. Sure, the generation of our children are "digital natives", but unfortunately they are not familiar with all aspects of the digital world. Precisely because the devices are now so user-friendly and intuitive to use, they lack the basic understanding of functionality, data protection and sustainable use. While one had to have some idea in my time when using a computer, the media consumption the main reason to use those devices. In addition, there is a lack of trained staff at all schools who deal with equipment and educational opportunities on a full-time basis. At the present, these tasks are mostly performed by teachers in addition to their educational mission. And of course it's like any state institution: salaries are ok, but ridiculous due to the high demand for IT professionals as opposed to the free economy. Germany is still one of the leading countries when it comes to innovation and modern solutions, but I think that will unfortunately change in the future. Above all, the issue of education seems to have drawn the wrong conclusions so far, and as long as we have reservations against immigration, nothing will change in terms of personnel issues. But where’s the real problem? Does digitization mean for the Germans to have Alexa in the living room or to have ones passport renewed online? Are gamers now potential offenders or professional athletes? Maybe it's the term itself: Digital. Main thing is it blinks ;)

Wool and its advantages as a sustainable fibre

Wool and its advantages as a sustainable fibre

Wool is commonly referred to as the hair of sheep, which is obtained by a sheep's shearing. It is most commonly used animal fiber and has been perfected by evolution for millions of years. It is the only fiber that can be felted together, as in our boiled wool, forming a homogenous tangle of fibers that emphasizes the positive qualities of the wool. Wool has a natural layer of fat that prevents water in liquid form from entering. As a solid material, the fibers thereby form a water-repellent surface from which rain and water splashes off. Unfortunately, this natural effect doesn’t apply to chemical fibers, they have to be additionally impregnated. Of course, the material is not completely waterproof. By friction or mechanical movement, the drop-shaped water can migrate between and through the fibers. Again, this is the case with fabrics made of chemical fibers, it is counteracted with a coating or a membrane to be waterproof. However, our body also produces constantly (and depending on the level of activity) a certain amount of water vapor (sweat that evaporates), which needs to be transported from the body. Both the loose structure of the milled fabric, as well as the fiber properties of the wool provide a very good absorption and passage of water to the outside. In contrast to fabrics made from chemical fibers, which can only transport or absorb a small amount of water vapor through their coating or membrane and their structural composition. When it comes to thermal properties, the wool benefits from its curled shape. Heat is created by insulation and this is achieved by the highest possible inclusion in air. The more air a fabric can contain, the better its thermal properties. This is achieved with fabrics made of chemical fibers only by an additional feeding with down or man-made fibers.

With all these features in mind, we now find that a cardigan made from only one type of fiber has similar properties to a multi-layered manmade fiber jacket. Of course, the wool has disadvantages in terms of permeability to water (rain), in all other respects, however, distinct advantages. The lack of protection against rain is often an argument against woolen clothing, especially for children. Understandable, because nobody wants to walk around in a wet garment. However, it is disregarded that mud pants and rain jackets have a very poor water vapor transport and thereby keep sweat on the body. This is known, for example, when children who have played in rubber boots: They usually have sweaty socks and rain jackets are quickly clammy from the inside alter extensive raging. That's why good shell jackets for extreme athletes also like to cost about 600 €, because they have expensive membranes with very good throughput values ​​for water vapor. A balanced climate creates only the wool, but also warms just by its water-repellent property when wet. Their antibacterial properties additionally prevent the formation of odors.

From a sustainable point of view, wool is also beneficial for cleaning, repair and recycling. A jacket has to be dried and shaken out after an intense day outside, brushed once in a while and very rarely washed, a jacket made of chemical fibers needs to be regularly washed, dried and impregnated from time to time. Holes in woolen items can be stuffed without leaving a trace and can now easily be recycled without much effort. A chemical fiber jacket with coating and feeding is a medium-sized disaster in the recovery, they often end up in the incineration plant.

The keeping, breeding and shearing of the sheep is for good reason a problem of wool production. It generates a lot of CO2, consumes a lot of water and is also ethically questionable. For our products, we only use wool from certified organic animal husbandry, which, in contrast to the alternative chemical fiber, is only the lesser evil. But just because of the elaborate extraction, it is our responsibility that makes sense and with the smallest impact on the environment, but the maximum benefit for the humans who use it.