I recently found out about a new type of organic fibers used in fabric called CRAiLAR. It is 100% organic and referred to as the Iron Butterfly. According to the company, “CRAiLAR® Organic Fibers are the foundation of the first truly sustainable yarn in the apparel industry, and are poised to become the revolutionary next step in sustainable fibers.” These fibers were developed by Naturally Advanced Technologies in collaboration with the National Research Council of Canada.
This material is made form the outermost part of hemp plants and is actually very similar to cotton – but even better: “its fibers shrink 50 percent less than cotton fibers do, are 40 percent stronger and hold dyes longer.”
What makes CRAiLAR eco frriendly? “Hemp has always been one of the most sustainable, renewable, environmentally sound crops in existence. It requires no irrigation or chemical fertilizers and pesticides to thrive and can grow to 14 feet in only four months. While many plants deplete the surrounding soil of vital nutrients, hemp is beneficial to soil, and actually improves its condition. Industrial hemp absorbs carbon dioxide—the most prominent greenhouse gas in the Earth’s atmosphere—at five times the rate of the same acreage of forest.”
Given the current state of our environment, need for sustainable resources, and the world’s love for fashion – this may shortly become the new thing.