With Spring arriving , Sina Pearson unveiled her newest sustainable collection, Earthly Green, comprised of Big Dots and Eco-Pile. Pearson is known as a creative designer ahead of the curve and committed to the environment. I have previously written about the Company’s sustainable Bounce collection (along with other eco-fabrics) since I love the bold colors and the stripes. These two new fabrics seem to fit right in with the Company’s sustainable mission to create lively, but long lasting and durable fabrics.
Big Dots, a Crypton Green® fabric, has a fun, contemporary feel to it with its all-over polka dot motif. Imagine an updated retro-sixties look with two and a half inch spheres floating above a multi-colored background. The dots are woven with a subtle metallic yarn to add a gleam to the fabric. When I look at the fabric is reminds me of Saturn and Jupiter with its bands around the dots. The fabric is comprised of 63% post-consumer recycled polyester and has received MBDC Cradle to Cradle silver certification. Not only will this fabric spice up a dull room, it is durable. The Crypton Green® finish provides “excellent resistance to abrasion, odor, liquid, and stains – so that the product is more sustainable. A longer life makes for a better lifecycle,” according to the makers of Crypton Green®.
In addition, using Big Dots contributes to points for LEED-CI (commercial interiors) certification for the following credits: for MR Credit 4.2 Recycled Content, IQ Credit 4.5, Low-Emitting Materials, Systems Furniture and Seating, and ID Credit 1.1., Innovative Design for its Siver Cradle to Cradle certification. Available in six colors: olive with brown, orange with red, purple with brown, blue with charcoal, teal with olive and taupe with brown.
What are my thought about this fabric? Although I loved the fun pattern, I felt the material was very heavy-handed (not soft). It is one of the biggest complaints that I have about recycled polyester. I feel that this fabric is best suited for commercial interiors or areas where durability is an issue such as for seating. This is my two cents. (But then again, I am only an admirer of fabric not an interior designer.) Sina explained that this heavy-handed feel is due to the Crypton Green® finish.
In addition, antimony, a heavy metal, is used in the process and this concerns me. Sina explains:
“When considering differences between polyester fibers to use in the production of environmentally sensitive yarn, we had a choice between antimony-free virgin polyester, and recycled polyester.
Each option raises a number of issues, which you balance. Of course in an ideal world you’d have a toxin-free solution offering innumerable options for color, yarn type, and performance, at an accessible price, but in the real world you are compelled to make difficult choices.
In developing and designing fabrics for commercial buildings, you have to weigh aesthetics, performance, price and sustainability. Our audience, professional interior designers and specifiers, will tell you that for the vast majority, aesthetics continues to come first, with the other factors then considered in balance.
We chose the recycled polyester because it gave us more options for design, more choices in the yarn bank for color, yarn type, texture and so on. We could never have achieved such a sophisticated look (the addition of the gold and silvery twisted yarn, for example) with the virgin polyester.
As designers/manufacturers, we make the best choices with the options available. As we move into the future, we are committed to searching for the best possible environmentally correct ingredients as we develop new products.”
Retail price is $112 per yard.
Sister fabric, Eco-pile, was woven at a different mill. It is a chunky chenille with ridges, which is soft and luxurious to the touch. Offered in seven colors, this fabric line is made by blending lensing, which is biodegradable viscose, and post-c0nsumer recycled cotton fibers. The balance of the fibers are post industrial recycled acrylic, polyarcylic, and recycled other. With 100,000 double rubs, this fabric can handle anything, but still be the fabric that beacons you to take that afternoon nap on your couch. I am a big fan of this fabric, and love the olive and red colors in this line.
Unlike, Big Dots, this fabric line does not have any environmental certifications.
“The mill (producer of the Eco-Pile pattern) has to go through a very complicated and expensive certification process to be considered for a Cradle to Cradle rating. The mill’s entire production program, the raw materials, the yarn suppliers not controlled by the mill, are all involved. It takes years and the investment of thousands of dollars to develop and complete the certification. As of this date, the mill has not applied,” Sina stated.
Additionally, Sina explains when posed with the question whether the fabric is process using antimony, “[a]ntimony-free yards were not available to weave this kind of construction.” However, the Company states that no toxins entered the ground or water table during manufacturing.
When I asked her why the use of Eco-Pile would not contribute to LEED CI points in the area of Low Emitting Materials, Systems Furniture and Seating, she replied,
“Eco Pile probably would be low voc but it is manufactured in Germany, and they do not do the same kind of testing that the US does, so it has not been certified for this particular code. They do have very stringent standards throughout Europe and have led the environmental efforts in textiles. Generally, the mills themselves pay the high costs for the certifications (and there are many different ones).
It does however, contribute to MR Credit 4.2, Recycled Content 20%.
Retail cost is $124.
As noted above, Sina is committed to the environment. Often times, it is her muse. She is an advocate of the Nature Conservancy, donates discontinued fabric and samples to the Materials of the Arts, a Manhattan organization that donates them to school and theater program to reduce waste, and makes every effort to source sustainable products for her collections. In addition, she donates ten percent of sales from the Company’s Good Wishes Collection, inspired by children’s drawings, to Quilts for Kids, which turns discontinued fabrics into quilts for children with life-threatening diseases.
Sina Pearson’s commitment to the creation of well designed, durable, sustainable fabrics helps to push the textile industry forward so that one day, an interior designer will be able to pick fabric by design and be assured it is sustainable.