Eucalyptus Clothing: The Eco-friendly Fabric that’s Changing the Face of Fashion
If you’ve read any of our recent posts about sustainable and ethical fashion, you’ll know we’re completely bonkers for the slow-fashion revolution that seems to be taking the world by storm.
Here’s our take on it:
The fast fashion industry has been promulgating waste and polluting our planet for way too long now. We’ve had enough of that crap-- and judging from the latest consumer purchasing trends, you all have had just about enough of it, too.
Here at Maria Malo, we’re constantly on the lookout for fabrics to use in our collection that are totally sustainable and kind to the environment. We’ve long incorporated materials like organic bamboo and regenerated sea plastics in our lines, and just recently we’ve brought another green material to the party:
Tencel lyocell; otherwise known as eucalyptus.
And I’ve got some seriously good news for you all:
Eucalyptus clothing is just as awesome to wear as it is kind to the environment-- so if you don’t know much about this fabulous material, let us walk you through all the must-knows.
Why use eucalyptus?
Along with other superplants like bamboo, eucalyptus is an insanely fast growing plant.
The trees can grow anywhere from 10 to a whopping 60 meters in height-- and typically 60% of that growth will occur in the first 10 years after the seed is planted (according to the eucalyptus experts, that is).
Eucalyptus is also an extremely hardy plant that’s able to withstand quite harsh weather conditions, including baking hot temperatures and relatively long periods without rainfall.
Though it’s originally native to Australia and Tasmania, eucalyptus trees now grow all over the world, from the farthest flung corners of Asia to the United States and Southern Europe.
The best part is that when a eucalyptus tree is harvested, it’s always cut (as opposed to being uprooted) which allows for fast regrowth and regeneration; something that isn’t possible if you uproot the plant completely
All things considered, we reckon eucalyptus is deserving of a spot on the list of the world’s most sustainable plant resources.
And if that’s not enough to get you hooked on the stuff, just wait until you get a load of what else this magical plant can do.
Eucalyptus uses: Medicine, agriculture, cleaning…. And clothing!
Eucalyptus trees have long been revered, carefully harvested, and used for their medicinal properties. Many societies throughout history have known of the power eucalyptus holds; the old Ayurvedic treatments in India, traditional Chinese healers, and the Ancient Greeks to name a few.
Not only is eucalyptus a powerful antimicrobial, but it’s also used (both traditionally and in modern medicine) to treat respiratory issues, diabetes, fungal infections, immune deficiencies, pain, and dental problems.
But that’s just the start:
In agriculture, substances made using eucalyptus oil are used as an alternative to nasty chemical-based insecticides. This is a gamechanger-- can you imagine how much easier it would be to access clean, organic produce if farmers made the switch to eucalyptus-based insecticides instead of the awful crap from Monsanto?!
The possibilities with eucalyptus oil don’t end there:
It’s also a highly effective cleaning agent (which you can easily concoct yourself at home using a few simple ingredients that you probably already have in the cupboard!).
And of course, the pure essential oil variety is a fantastic one to use for oil diffusers, aromatherapy, or as a natural skin/hair supplement.
Phew-- that’s a lot of practical uses! Stick with me; I’m about to tell you the most exciting part:
Eucalyptus clothing is in our brains in a big, big way.
We’ve incorporated it into some extra special items in our new collection (don’t forget to check it out; it might just be our best one yet!) and we’re already so stoked with how they’ve turned out.
Here’s why we absolutely adore eucalyptus clothing:
Eucalyptus clothing is an eco-fashionista’s dream come true
Eucalyptus clothing is made from a fabric called Tencel Lyocell, which is created using the mashed up pulp of the eucalyptus tree.
To make the fabric, producers will first fell the trees, then process the wood until it becomes a mushy pulp. Then, they’ll reduce this pulp down to its most basic cellulose viscous version, which will then be fed through special spinnerets.
At the front of the spinnerets there are a few fine nozzles, which is where the newly spun fiber will come out of. Once pulled out of the nozzle, the raw fibers are spun into a soft, workable material which is known as Tencel Lyocell.
Benefits of Tencel Lyocell
The fabric used to make our beloved eucalyptus clothing is soft, breathable, and deliciously lightweight. It’s comfortable to wear-- especially in super hot climates.
And big brownie points for this one:
For anyone who suffers from skin sensitivities spurred on by synthetic fabrics, eucalyptus clothing is an ideal alternative.
From an environmental perspective, eucalyptus clothing also represents an enormous shift in the impact our fashion choices have on the earth. Not only is the fabric itself is 100% recyclable and biodegradable, but because it’s completely natural it also eliminates the possibility of it polluting our waterways with toxic microfibers (which is a very real problem when you wash your synthetic clothes in the washing machine).
It would seem we’re not the only ones who think eucalyptus clothing is freakin’ awesome, either. In 2002, Tencel Lyocell won the “The Technology Award for Sustainable Development” from the European Commission.
In short: we think this plant is pretty darn incredible. What about you?! Drop us a comment below and share your thoughts.