After perusing the green corners of the internet this morning, I came across a new eco-blog called ECObloggerNL. The blogger had been to a 'Pressday' run by a PR agency and had come across some new ethical fashion collections including this one from Netl. Netl is an innovative eco brand with a new collection coming out this winter. The collection is stunningly stylish with simple cuts in bright but wearable colours and woven with beautiful fabrics. Believe it or not, they make their clothes from stinging nettles! Nettles can grow in rainy climates like England and as they are weeds they grow thick and fast with little need for pesticides. Nettle fibre is strong, soft and 30-50% lighter than cotton. The nettle is processed in Europe using human friendly and environmentally friendly processes.
Interestingly, nettle was being used to make clothes 5,500 years ago and all the way up until the 19th century. When cotton was introduced to Europe, it was found to be a cheaper and easier alternative and so the use of nettle in the clothing industry came to an end. In the last 20 years it has regained popularity as new improved techniques in processing the nettle have been discovered and it has come to be seen as a sustainable, environmentally friendly alternative to the damaging cotton industry.
I particularly liked this quote from the website: "Do you like to buy fast fashion? Lots of it, often and cheap? Shop till you drop? Does it not bother you where your clothes come from, how they are made, where and by whom? Then you have come to the wrong place. We love our craft. We love quality and beautiful, timeless items that will last long after yesterday’s fashions have been put out with the trash."
I can't wait for this collection to come on sale; I will definitely be buying some of these classic yet unique knits and am sure to be found bragging about their unconventional source! I am especially excited to find out what this fabric feels like as in the pictures it looks extremely fine and soft... However, if you see me carrying around bunches of dock leaves, you'll know why!