Photo courtesy of Kravet of its Kravet Green line
I have to admit I love fabric. Can you blame me? As I am folding mounds of laundry or on the treadmill, I am glued to the television set watching talent designers such as Candice Olson transform dull, outdated rooms into warm cozy rooms with fabrics that scream comfort and style. Perhaps a Better Homes and Garden magazine will be perched on a table in a waiting room tempting me with their cheery rooms oozing with great fabric and design. Yes, I have a serious addiction, but absolutely no talent to pull my own rooms together. I am like a love sick teenager who loves fabric from afar.
As much as I love fabric, I know fabric with all its beauty has a dark side. Chemicals used in the production of its colors and patterns are harmful to our environment. My sensible, environmental, nontoxic side has barred me from furnishing my home. It always reminds me, “if Al Gore builds it, the eco-fabrics will come.” Slowly but surely over the last couple of years, Al was right. Others like me started their own fabric lines and the rest of the fabric world took notice that being green is not a fad but a way of life.Each of the fabrics are certified by a myriad of different organization such as GOTS, Organic Trade Association, Oeko-tex, and Control Union World Group (formerly known as SKAL ). It is very confusing with all the different designations; however, buying a fabric which is certified by one of these organizations is a very good step in finding an environmentally friendly fabric.
This is Part I of the article since there were so many companies to write about. Don’t fret if you don’t see a fabric that you like. There is more to come in part II. So here is how it all drapes out:
Green Kravet: The recycled polyester fabrics are made out of a unique blend of post-industrial and post-consumer fibers. Featured in a three book set, the colors of the fabrics reflect the palette of fire, earth, and ocean. The designs are quite beautiful. These fabrics are woven and treated with no additional chemicals, and finished with water based, environmentally friendly dyes and hung to dry to lessen run-off. The fabric can be recycled at the end of its life. For me, the downside of this fabric line is the polyester and the tighter weave makes the fabric feel tougher; however, it should be very durable.
Robert Allen: Robert Allen produces a wide range of fabric choices for different décor needs in your home. At the present, their eco-friendly fabric line is made out of partially recycled polyester with the same feel as Green Kravet. However, in April, 2008, the Company is expanding its eco line with the addition of fabrics that are made from at least fifty percent sustainable, organic, and/or recycled fibers. See my upcoming article about them.
Harmony Art:The fabrics are beautifully designed organic cotton using low impact water based dyes conforming to GOTS standards. Each design has a touch of whimsy in true harmony with the Earth. The fabrics can be used for light upholstery(depending on the weight of the fabric), drapes or pillow accessories. Anyone who lists Dr Seuss’ character, Lorax, on their site rates with me. Custom work can be procured.
Oliveira Textiles: Art inspired fabric made out of Organic cotton and hemp. The Company is seeking GOTS standards for their fabrics. For light upholstery, drapes, and pillows. See my article about the twin sister team Dawn and Deb. Pillows in the fabric of your choice can be purchased directly through the Company.
ModGreen: Two sister-in-laws who have teamed up to create a vibrant fabric line made out of organic hand silk-screened cotton. No harmful chemicals or dyes are used during the production or finishing of the fabrics. in Their fabrics are certified by the Organic Trade Association, and have been used for upholstery, curtains, duvets, and baby products. The Company also carries eco-friendly wall paper.
Knoll Textiles: Their Renew environmental collection contains recycled polyester with no added backing or finishes so the fabrics can be recycled at the end of their life. In addition, the Company offers fabric lines that contain either more than 49% recycled content or 75% natural fibers fabrics. Knoll also offers a fabric line based upon the manufacturing procedures of Crypton Green. These manufacturing procedures have received certification from SCS Indoor Advantage™ and MBDC Cradle to Cradle™(Silver-certified). 95% of Knoll Textile fabrics are certified by Greenguard for low chemical emissions.
Maharam: This company has an ISO 14001 certification, which is an internationally recognized environmental management system to reduce the company’s environmental impact. The company supplies beautifully designed reduced impacted fabrics as well as other fabrics. The Company offers fabrics made with natural fibers or fabric with recycled content or reduced VOC emissions, and fabrics “for which the manufacturing process has been engineered, measured and documented to ensure reduced environmental impact.”
Robert Kaufman: This company offers the greenStyle fabrics which includes the Ultima Eco collection (65% recycled soda bottles and 35% cotton), the Panda print collection, which is comprised of either 60% cotton, 40%, Panda (solid cotton/bamboo), and Bermuda which is 100% bamboo. Intended for apparel, crafts, sewing and home décor.
Eco-Terrific sells Cisco Brothers furniture as well as the company’s fabrics among other environmental furniture, accessories and home décor items. (See my story about Cisco Brothers’ green furniture) The fabric, which is made out organic cotton, recycled cotton/acrylic, linen. hemp, and other assorted blends. In addition, the company offers hand loomed, block printed, naturally dyed organic cotton Kalamkari prints and solids from India for assorted home décor options.
Duralee green: contract fabric that achieved the MBDC’s (McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry) Cradle to Cradle Gold standards for environmentally friendly products for its Eco Intelligent® Polyester fabrics. The Company touts this fabric line as cutting-edge design with exceptional performance. In April, 2008, Duralee is launching a contract fabric Crypton Green line.
Design-Tex: The Sustainable Home collection is comprised of organic cotton, bamboo, and cotton/bamboo blends. In addition, Design-Tex offers recycled polyester, solution dyed polyester, EU flower wool, and other additional environmental fabrics.
Stay tuned for Part II tomorrow featuring some beautiful to die for fabrics.