The latest eco fabrics

I’ve selected five new fabric collections that use plastic bottles, recycled wool and even castor beans to create beautiful and hardwearing fabrics that are also kinder to the planet.

With the launch of Interior Design Declares a couple of weeks ago it looks like the interior design industry is making positive strides towards a more sustainable future.

And we can all do our bit. Because, to coin a much used phrase, if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem. One obvious step is to lean towards eco fabrics, not just for our own homes but for client projects too. So here is my pick of the latest, sustainable launches.

First up, Kirkby Design, part of the Romo Group, which today launches The Sustainable Collection. The fabrics in the collection are made entirely from environmentally conscious, sustainable materials such as 100% PET recycled polyester from waste plastic bottles, recycled wool (mostly from the fashion industry) and Tencel lyocell – a sustainable yarn that originates from fast growing eucalyptus trees. In addition each fabric is itself fully recyclable.

To underline its commitment to a greener world, Kirkby has also linked with two charitable organisations to donate a percentage of proceeds from every metre of fabric sold. For its Wave and Flow fabrics, both produced from recycled plastic bottles, the company has partnered with The Marine Conservation Society. A charity centred around plastic waste reduction. (Flow is shown in the image at the top)

Leaf II, from Kirkby’s Sustainable Collection, made from recycled wool

For Fleck Eco and Leaf II, collections that use recycled wool, Kirkby has linked to Trees For Life a re-wilding charity based in the Scottish Highlands.

I am impressed that Kirkby is not just producing genuinely eco friendly fabrics (some textiles that call themselves sustainable do not use 100% sustainable materials) but the company is also currently trialling packaging options to find a suitable alternative to the polyurethane it currently uses to wrap products in transit.

Jordan Mould, creative director at Kirkby Design says, “Since our 2015 Leaf recycled wool collection, we have always desired creating more products that are unmistakeably stylish yet still eco-friendly. Thanks to developments in recycling processes and working closely with trusted mills, we have now been able to create four fabric collections that are environmentally conscious and remain true to the brand.”

The Pure organic linen collection from de Le Cuona

Bernie de Le Cuona has long been an advocate for natural, sustainable textiles. The Pure collection from de Le Cuona is manufactured from 100% organic linen certified to The Global Organic Textile Standard. The certification confirms that the fabrics are sustainably and responsibly produced without harmful chemicals – meaning no damaging particles are emitted into the environment or the air we breathe in our interior spaces.

Bernie follows the production journey of Pure closely, promising no greenwashing at any stage. And, determined to raise awareness of Pure organic linen, de Le Cuona has kept the price of this valuable fabric to no more than 8% higher than an equivalent product in the de Le Cuona natural fibre portfolio. Extending the range, Pure bedlinen launches in May.

Meanwhile, Ultrafabrics has expanded its Volar Bio range with six new colours including indigo, spinach (I love this as a name) and café noir.

Volar Bio from Ultrafabrics. Made from 29% plant based material, designed to look and feel like leather

Ultrababrics claims to be the World’s leading animal free fabric manufacturer. It launched Volar Bio in 2019 and the fabric received the Innovation Award in the 2020 PETA Vegan Homewares Awards. By 2025 Ultrafabrics goal is to include bio based ingredients and /or recycled content in 50% of its new products.

The company is also installing solar panels at is warehouse and mill in Japan to move towards Japan’s pledge to be a carbon neutral country by 2050.

Lollipop from Rubelli, a complex weave from eco viscose and castor bean fibre

Rubelli’s S/S 2021 collection includes new bio-based fabric made from a combination of eco viscose and an innovative fibre produced from the castor bean. Highlights in this collection include Lollipop, a criss-cross design, and Cuba Libra taking inspiration from cubist paintings both in its geometric shapes and the use of a reduced palette.

Clarke & Clarke’s Eco Collection, 100% recycled plastic yet with a soft feel

Not to be left out, Clarke & Clarke has launched the Eco Collection. Manufactured entirely from recycled plastic, this is a first for the brand. The collection features subtle geometric designs, including a classic herringbone, as well as a soft chenille and a multi coloured plain. On average, 90 recycled plastic bottles result in 1m of fabric.

If you want to delve even further into the world of alternative materials can I recommend Adrienne’s feature on alternative sustainable materials where you can discover a ‘leather’ made form pineapple and a concrete alternative manufactured from hemp.

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