All our designs are made from organic, renewable, and biodegradable fibres. When selecting fabrics, we implement a selection criteria, taking into consideration water use, land use, eco-toxicity, human toxicity and greenhouse gas emissions. This is balanced against fabric availability, price and garment care implications.
The fibre is a natural plant-based fibre that is biodegradable, renewable or has a potential for circularity.
If the natural fibre is environmentally or socially intensive - we only use it when it has been certified, e.g. Global Organic Textile Certified Organic Cotton.
We may occasionally use synthetic fibres that are recycled or upcycled to reduce our environmental impact.
As of October 2020, we only use lyocell certified by Lenzing TENCEL™. Lenzing TENCEL™ certified lyocell is produced by more environmentally responsible processes from sustainably sourced wood. The biobased fibers are manufactured using an environmentally responsible production process and are certified as compostable and biodegradable. This means that they can fully revert back to nature.
Lenzing TENCEL™ Lyocell uses a closed loop manufacturing process, where over 99% of water and non-toxic solvent used in the manufacturing process is recovered and recycled. To learn more, visit Lenzing's website.
At Esse, we only use GOTS certified organic cotton. Organic cotton is grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment, using production systems that replenish and maintain soil fertility and are grown without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.
Unlike conventional cotton that creates the loss of soil due to mono- crop culture and intensive irrigation, organic cotton ensures healthy soil through crop rotation. The healthy soil creates a natural balance and mitigates the use of insecticides and pesticides.
Linen is made from flax and is one of the most biodegradable fabrics that has withstood the test of time. Strong, naturally moth resistant and anti-bacterial, linen is gentle on your skin and the planet.
Flax is an extremely resilient and versatile plant that can grow in poor soil, consuming far less water than cotton. Every part of the flax plant can be used, which means that there is very little by-product from growing this crop. The production of linen uses very little water and emits only ¼ of the carbon as cotton per pound of fibre. Most of our linen is made in mills that are OEKO-TEX certified. OEKO-TEX checks for presence of hazardous chemicals in the dyed fabric, carcinogens, azo dyes and other chemical limits in accordance to the European REACH standards.
Cupro is a regenerated cellulose fibre made from cotton linter, which is a short downy fibre left on the cotton seed after extracting the longer fibres for cotton yarn. It has a smooth and silky feel, attractive lustre and is highly absorbent. Using a recycled fibre that was previously discarded, Cupro gives new life to pre-consumer waste, and is a biodegradable fibre that breaks down naturally after disposal. Like Lyocell, Cupro is produced in a closed loop manufacturing process.
ProViscose® is a fiber that makes up for weaknesses of rayon fiber which decreases in strength and elongates in humidity. By blending Lenzing Viscose® (70%) and TENCEL® (30%), the strength of the fabric is significantly enhanced when it is wet and there is no deformation even when it goes through a strong laundering process. This ensures longevity of the garment after many washes and wears, whilst still ensuring that the fabric is wearable, breathable and goes back to the earth at the end of its lifecycle.
Deadstock fabrics are leftover fabrics that are a result of a broken fashion system where brands over order fabrics. A small proportion of our garments are made from deadstock fabrics, but we recognise that there are some challenges to using this category of textiles. Besides having little-to-no supply chain traceability, it is also hard to ascertain the chemical and environmental impact of these textiles during the manufacturing process. Our decision for using deadstock fabrics stems from our desire to repurpose excess fabric and divert it from ending up in a landfill.