What are your clothes made of?
At Ayo Oslo, we only produce clothes in natural materials like cashmere, yak and camel. We believe that this is one of the most sustainable materials you can use. Let us tell you why. The main difference when it comes to materials used in clothing is whether it comes from natural fibers or whether it is made artificially.
Natural fiber comes from plants or animals. Natural fibers are often milder on the skin, easier to wash and care for, and are less prone to bacterial growth. They have a high absorbency and usually have less environmental impact than synthetic fibers. This is because they do not use as many chemicals during the production process.
Wool mainly comes from sheep, but the term also covers fur from animals such as goats, alpacas, yaks, camels and llamas. These animals all have different qualities, but by choosing wool you get a garment that insulates well and keeps you warm. It absorbs moisture, is easy to keep clean, and is kind to our planet. Several reports conclude that wool is the most environmentally friendly choice. Read more about our wool here.
Cotton comes from the cotton plant. Garments made of cotton are durable and comfortable on the skin. The production of cotton has received a lot of negative attention in recent years. Big amounts of water is required to grow cotton. Pesticides and other chemicals are used in a lot of cotton production. By choosing organic cotton, you help reduce the use of toxic chemicals.
Linen is two to three times stronger than cotton and dries faster. It has natural heat and moisture transporting properties that make it a good heat conductor. Linen is naturally antibacterial, and is therefore hypoallergenic. It has little elasticity, which makes it wrinkle easily. But the linen plant requires less water than cotton, and is more environmentally friendly.
Synthetic fibers can be divided into synthetic fibers derived from oil and semi-synthetic fibers, which are processed from cellulose.
The production of synthetic fibers has a major impact on the environment. It uses large amounts of energy and non-renewable resources. It also creates a lot of by-products and production waste. Clothes made of synthetic fiber release microplastic during use and washing. When synthetic clothes are thrown away, they often end up on landfills or burned. Both alternatives release toxins into the soil and atmosphere. Synthetic substances are more likely to house bacteria and absorb environmental toxins. Examples of synthetic fibers are polyester, nylon, acrylic and elastane.
Semi-synthetic fibers are made from natural raw materials. These are cellulose-regenerated fibers that come from wood pulp from trees, such as spruce, beech and pine. They are only modified and partially degraded by chemical processes. Unlike synthetic fibers, which in practice are only plastic, clothes with semi-synthetic fibers can break down in nature. It is still important to ensure that the raw materials come from sustainable forestry, and that no toxic chemicals are used. Examples of semi-synthetic fibers are rayon, modal and viscose.