When choosing materials for our collections, we consider three things: Quality, aesthetics and sustainability. We analyze the composition for its abilities, the weave or knit for its durability and that it fulfills the aesthetic purpose and we consider the estimated environmental impact.
Mono material means that it is pure material. 100% organic cotton, 100% wool and so on. One of the
biggest challenges yet in the clothing industry is recycling of mixed materials. Technology is developing, but as of today it is hard to identify material mix and to recycle it. By choosing pure fiber compositions as often as we can, we are contributing to making the recycling process possible and more rewarding.
More than half of Fall Winter Spring Summer’s Fall 20 ready-to-wear collection is made of mono materials, in fact 87% of all woven styles are made of mono materials. While it is important to use mono materials to facilitate recycling, it can be favorable to use a mix on some garments for quality and aesthetic reasons. Chunky knitwear has for instance a tendency to lose its shape over time and polyamide is commonly used to help maintain shape and design.
Animal Friendly Fur
From Fall 20 Fall Winter Spring Summer is introducing a new animal friendly fur quality with the look and feel of regular fur. By using new technology, soft lambswool fibers have been carefully knitted into a polyester backing to create a warm and durable fabric without harming animals in the process.
The new quality has the warmth, softness and comfort from fine lambswool fibers, and the stability and strength of its polyester backing – making for long-lasting and functional outerwear, without compromising on design and aesthetics.
FWSS also work with faux fur material. Garments made of faux fur have stability and strength, but does not have the same warmth, softness and breathability abilities as wool as it is made of polyester.
On average, 80% of the climate impact in
production of garments occurs from the fiber to finished fabric stage. This is why we have started working with
leftover fabrics, where only 20% of the production impact remains (the actual cutting and assembling of the gar- ment). As no new fabric is produced, this of course puts
a limit to the number of garments we can make from
that exact leftover fabric. However, in a world with mass produced clothes but a clear desire to express individuality, this way of designing and producing garments leaves more unique pieces of limited edition that you can wear proudly and with a good conscience.
Originating from a renewable raw material wood, these fibers share many of the good abilities of cotton but has a more draping look than cotton. This material is smooth and comfortable next to skin, has high strength and is durable, has good color retention and will never be static. Both “Tencel Lyocell” and “Lyocell” are commonly used on care labels – these are actually the same fiber, but Tencel Lyocell fibers are certified as compostable and biode- gradable, come from sustainably managed wood and are produced in an environmentally responsible closed loop process that recycles more than 99% of the process water and solvents.
65% of all the polyester in our Fall 20 collection is made of recycled polyester. The remaining 35% virgin polyester comes from quality mixes in coats and a leftover fabric. As every other material, polyester has it ́s pros and cons. Polyester is a strong and durable fiber, has good color- fastness and it can be permanently shaped by heat until reheated and reshaped again. Further it is wrinkle resistant, stable, easy to wash and it dries fast. The downside of poly- ester is that it is not biodegradable making
microplastics a great challenge. Further it does not absorb any fluids which can make garments clammy when it is hot and humid and also become static.
In terms of production of the fiber, recycled polyester has about half of the CO2 eq. climate impact compared to virgin polyester. Research performed by SWEREA (2017)
comparing two jersey T-shirts, one of recycled polyester and one of virgin polyester (that otherwise had identical construction), showed that recycled polyester shed about 55% less microplastic compared to virgin polyester.
83% of all the cotton used in our Fall 20 collection is organic. Organic cotton and its sustainability have been discussed for several years. The truth seems to be that it can be both climate positive and climate negative when it comes to the climate impact of CO2 eq., depending on where and how the cotton is cultivated. Organic cotton preserves and improves soil quality and research has shown that it uses less water (up to 91%) and it does not
pollute the water and farmers with fertilizers and pesticides. Cultivation of organic cotton still implies lots of water and a significant environmental impact (46% less GHG than conventional cotton), so wherever cotton is used in the collection it serves a purpose. Cotton is a complex fiber that has amazing absorbing abilities and is known for feeling good and comfortable on the skin.
In the Fall 20 collection we introduce a soft and cozy alpaca mix quality. The knitwear feels light yet very warm, breathes well and will make for a great
companion through colder seasons for years to come.
The alpaca fiber comes from Ilama camelids that mainly live in the Andes Mountains in Peru - their natural habitat where they fit right into the ecology they are meant for. 90% of all alpaca fibers on the world market comes from Peru. Since their wool is much cleaner in terms of lanolin and oil (compared to regular wool), it does not require the scouring process wool does, which constitutes a consider- ate portion of the wools environmental impact and energy demand. In comparison to cashmere/pashmina goats, these camelids can provide about four to five times as much fiber per year. The fiber is very soft, has great isolation abilities, is lightweight and has a high pilling level. Many also find alpaca to be comfortable to wear directly to the skin, even though they are sensitive to wool.
Wool is a complex fiber that has been developed through years of evolution. This fiber is so complex it can transport moist inside the fiber from humid to dry conditions and is in fact the only “true” breathable material. In activity when the body is warm and lets out perspiration, the wool fibers let in the vapor and transports it away from the body to drier conditions. Wool can also hold about 1/3 of its
weight in water vapor before feeling wet, and when wet it accumulates heat due to waters reaction to the monomer. Wool is biodegradable, wrinkle resistant, flame retardant and has the ability to neutralize unpleasant odor unlike any other material. The wool fiber is so complex that science and technology has not been able to replicate its many abilities in any other fiber. The strength of the wool fiber is only adequate, but the fibers are elastic making 100% wool garments durable in many cases. When the yarn and fabric is constructed a bit loose and thick, it may be favorable to add polyamide to increase the strength and stability of the garment.
In addition to its high aesthetic appeal, silk fiber makes for a very comfortable fabric suited for all seasons as it is both cooling and warming. Similar to wool it can hold up to 1/3 of its weight of water vapor without feeling wet. Silk fibers are very fine and has a smooth hand feel, making the comfort excellent next to skin. Silk also has great resilience – very fine and light weight weaves might crease, but wrinkles tend to fall out by themselves (a good tip is to hang silk garments in a humid room to achieve faster results).
In terms of environmental impact, not much research has been done yet on silk. Current research indicates that silk has similar impact as wool, though depending on the origin. We use silk in our collections as it make for long lasting, beautiful and functional garments. In the end increased utility and appreciation of a garment is the ultimate goal and the most favorable result in terms of sustainability.
The quality Casual Tech
“Casual Tech” is well reflected by its name – a technical fabric with a composition and construction that results in a high comfortability with great retention abilities that is wrinkle free. The high composition of rayon ensures good absorption and smoothness next to skin, and polyamide and elastane provides elasticity and retention.
Modal fibers are made of renewable raw material, wood, same as lyocell and viscose/rayon fibers, but with different characteristics. Modal is also referred to as “High- performance rayon”. Modal is usually made of the raw material beech wood, a fast-growing soft wood harvested from managed timbers and woodlands. In comparison to viscose and rayon, it has higher strength and scores excel- lent on comfort and absorbency.
The cashmere fiber contains many of the same abilities as wool, but the fiber is even softer and commonly preferred by people sensitive to wool. Cashmere is perceived as the most luxurious material among animal fibers because of its softness, lightness and timeless aesthetic appeal. It shares the wool fiber ́s ability to neutralize unpleasant odor and is breathable. Due to the fibers ́ fineness, it is about 10% weaker than wool and is also more likely to pill compared to wool garments, but this can be maintained with a cashmere comb. Cashmere is also biodegradable and possible to recycle into new yarn.
It is a concern that the grasslands cannot support the necessary fodder of the cashmere goats rearing in China and Magnolia, due to a big increase in cashmere demand. FWSS use cashmere for selected items that are designed for longevity. We believe the material makes for long lasting, beautiful and functional garments – and in the end increased utility and appreciation of a garment is the ultimate goal and the most favorable result in terms of sustainability.
Angora fibers have been used in our beanies for several sea- sons. The fiber is very fine and the quality is fluffy and soft - a good basis for comfortable, fuzzy and warm beanies. There have been several cases in media reporting on poor living conditions for angora rabbits. FWSS works exclu- sively with “cruelty-free” angora and have our own Ethical Conduct For Animal Welfare with strict criterias that all our suppliers must comply with. “The Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare” developed by the Farm Animal Welfare Council is one important criteria:
1. Freedom from Hunger and Thirst - by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour. 2. Freedom from Discomfort - by providing an appro- priate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
3. Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease - by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
4. Freedom to Express Normal Behaviour - by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the ani- mal’s own kind.
5. Freedom from Fear and Distress - by ensuring condi- tions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.
The angora rabbits are always shaved painlessly using either an electric shaver or scissors – never “stripped”. The farmers ensure at least ten rabbits living together and only use rearing boxes for safety reasons. There are also
requirements to the size of the rearing boxes. A mother and her baby rabbits always live together for at least six weeks for normal feeding.