I intend to practice purity of thought......
This blog in meant to be a source, a source of information for conscious consumers of clothing. I mean to practice purity of thought when writing it.
Let it be the stream that fills the lake with fresh water, spilling out into an ocean of salt and spoil.
I won't dwell on the ocean. Much is known about the offenses of the fashion industry.
I will bring awareness to little known alternatives and long forgotten practices, that I might calm minds eager to live purely. And I will invite others to contribute their stream of honestly-found knowledge:
Unto the pure all things are pure. "
The visionary Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) believed that "vita integra" came from faith and the use of plants. She taught her nuns to pray, heal, garden, sing and celebrate their own beauty. She was not educated, but spent her days making discoveries by working with plants, all the while interpreting what she found through the religious lens common at the time. Her textbook of medicine, Causae et Curae was discovered 100 years ago in the Royal Library of Copenhagen. In all her written works, she links spirituality, health and plants. For this innovative and bold woman, a life filled with sorrow, worry, fear, chronic stress and hurry was risky and dangerous. Those who had the best health were those who lived by inward strength and joy and communion with the natural world.
(Hildegard of Bingen's Medicine, Strehlow & Hertzka, M.D., Folk Wisdom Series, Bear and Company Books, 1988)
Their habits, wimples and undergarments were no doubt made from hand-harvested and spun linen (a cellulose fibre) and hand-carded wool (a protein fibre), since no other fabrics were available in medieval Europe.
How far we've come in 1000 years! The garment manufacturing industry is third in size to only electronics and cars, with a supply chain that circles the world!
Thankfully, we haven't forgotten about those pure fabrics. And yes, they must still be considered pure despite calls against wool because of the treatment of sheep not well cared for. To these pure fabrics we've added hemp (the "true environmentally friendly" material) and ramie (both cellulosics) and Lenzing Tencel™.
I would not add any others to this list.
Tencel is the brand name of a lyocell fabric made by Lenzing AG, Austria, and developed in the 1980's. It is made from FSC® and PEFC™ certified farmed and renewable eucalyptus trees, a rapidly renewable resource which grows to maturity in 7-10 years (Woodings, Courtaulds, UK). Eucalyptus trees yield 10 times the amount of cotton per square metre, and the land which is needed for eucalyptus is not suitable for agriculture. More efficient use of land is coupled with the fact that no irrigation, no pesticides and no herbicides are used to produce a low impact raw material. Lyocell is a carbon-neutral fibre, where the same amount of carbon is released into the atmosphere naturally during the tree's life cyle as is used in its harvesting (ibid).
To produce the fibres, Lenzing uses a closed loop fibre production system and NMMO, an aqueous, biodegradable, organic amine oxide (a solvent) to break down the bark and produce a pulp. The pulp is then extruded through tiny spinnerets to produce the fibre. The solvent is then recovered at a rate of 99.5%, all of which is recycled back into the main process. The solvent is non-toxic, non corrosive and all effluent is non-hazardous (ibid). Water is also recycled, producing very low emissions to the environment and reducing the dangers of water scarcity common with cotton growing by 10-20 times! This manufacturing process has been awarded the "European Award for the Environment" by the European Union. (Lenzing promotional materials, 2008/E) and takes about 2 hours from start to finish.
Compared with other viscose (rayon) fibres, Lenzing Tencel shows “substantially better” performance according to the Higg Material Sustainability Index (MSI) and it is Zero Discharge compliant (Annex 6) of OEKO-TEX® Standard 100, a certification which identifies textile materials that are harmless to health and have skin friendly pH. At the end of its long life, Lenzing Tencel is biodegradable in an aerated compost in just eight days, a factor of great importance when considering the harmful effects of mountains of textile waste in our world.
More absorbent than cotton, softer than silk and cooler than linen, this fabric is beautiful. Lenzing Tencel™. has the strongest tenacity profile of all cellulosic fibres, is naturally moth-free and is 2000 times less likely to grow bacteria than synthetic fibres such as polyester (Lenzing Marketing Communication EN/11-2014). Lenzing Tencel has the best skin sensory properties of softness and drape. and it's breathable.
Sanctuary Innerwear bears the label of Lenzing Tencel. That's because I have certification that Lenzing's fibres are what make up 92% of my fabric. (The other 8% is Spandex, which is not biodegradable and is produced using oil byproducts).
Look for this logo (or the newer Lenzing Ecovero on the right) when you shop for clothes:
It is no accident that a balance has evolved between the plant and animal kingdoms over a few billion years of evolution. Cellulose, the natural polyumer which makes up the living cells of all vegetation, the material at the centre of the carbon cycle, is the most abundant and renewable biopolymer on the planet.
A little known alternative.
Made with sustainability in mind, and part of the slow fashion movement.
I imagine Hildegard's nuns wore Sanctuary Innerwear under their frocks, or out in the open within the cloistered walls. I imagine they were beautiful, healthy creatures, full of purity.
PURITY Chemise and Short Set
CA$120.00 - CA$130.00
Reconnect to innocence with this modest and graceful chemise and short combination of genuine sustainable eucalyptus fabric, undyed and unbleached. Simple lines and white-on-white lace definition show unmistakable fineness. Brilliant day or night. A PURE - T.
TRUST Nightie & Pantie Set
CA$140.00 - CA$160.00
Rest assured that your garment is providing you with the most natural, luxurious nightwear or inner layer possible. The naiveté of the cross-your-heart bodice with lace accents is contrasted here by a confident and self-assuredly flowing skirt, speaking one word: poise. This is your peace of mind if chemical-free is your mission. TRUST - worthy.
CA$160.00 - CA$190.00
“The nightgown is beautifully sewn with amazing detail with pin tucks, yokes on the sleeves and beautiful flower buttons. It is pretty enough to be worn as a dress. It is truly a work of art. It is very comfortable and it makes you feel pampered to go to sleep in such a beautiful nightgown.” –Aggie
A superbly handcrafted gown. True VIRTUE is rare indeed.
I'm the designer and creator of
a line of hand made clothing worn next to the skin which imparts goodness from plants through the hand-dyed and infused fabric.