Fabrics

The production of fabrics is a huge part of the fashion industry's environmental impact. There are many ways we are trying to do our part to reduce this.

Our fabric commitments by the end of 2020

Read more in our Maggie Marilyn 2020 Sustainability Strategy And in our Supplier Code Of Conduct

Our Fabric Choices

We are proud of the progress we have already made towards using organic, recycled, ethical, repurposed and low environmental impact fabrics. Currently these make up around 69% of the fabrics we use in our collections. These fabrics include: 

To use only cotton that is certified organic

Organic cotton is grown from non-genetically modified seeds and without the use of toxic synthetic chemicals, fertilisers or pesticides. Non-organic cotton uses huge amounts of synthetic fertilisers, herbicides, and pesticides which pose detrimental health risks to workers and local communities as well as causing major damage to the environment. Organic cotton uses 71% less water and 62% less energy than traditional cotton. Using only organic cotton is incredibly important to us as it reduces the impact on people, animals, ecosystems and the environment.

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Recycled polyester

Recycled polyester is made from PET, the same plastic that is used for clear water bottles, or in our case, this exact plastic! Through using PET bottles from post-consumer waste we are diverting these bottles from ending up in landfill or in our precious oceans and reducing our dependence on petroleum as a raw material. The plastic is broken up into flakes, then chips and then made into a yarn that we can use to make our clothes. The great thing about recycled polyester is that it takes significantly less energy to produce than virgin polyester, and it ensures no new fossil fuels are extracted to make it. We are using what is already available. We are also keeping a close eye on recycling technology globally and discussing return schemes so we can keep the polyester we do use in circulation. We will keep you updated. Please look to our Progress Not Perfection page for more on recycled polyester.

Peace silk

Silk is what silkworms weave to make their cocoons as they metamorphosise from worm into butterfly. Traditional silk requires the cocoons to be boiled with the worm still inside in order to extract the silk in long unbroken threads. Peace silk however, allows the worm to complete its natural lifecycle, waiting for the butterfly to hatch from the cocoon before the silk is taken. Peace silk can be more challenging to work with as the fibres are broken and have many imperfections in the yield, however it is important for us to move towards using only peace silk in our collections.

Wool (non mulesed)

Mulesing is the procedure of removing strips of wool bearing skin from around sheep’s buttocks in an attempt to prevent flystrike. We strongly disagree with this procedure and only use wool from non mulesed sheep. From October 1st 2018, New Zealand legally banned the practice of mulesing, something we believe should be made illegal globally. Wool is strong and resilient but will naturally biodegrade when the time comes. Wool uses significantly less energy during its production than manufacturing man-made fibres. Wool production produces lower carbon dioxide emissions and hence has a low carbon impact on the earth.

Recycled ECONYL Nylon

Our recycled nylon comes from discarded fishnets. The benefits are the same as with our recycled polyester in that recycled nylon uses far fewer resources than virgin (including water, energy and fossil) as well as diverting waste from landfills and more specifically oceans. Recycled nylon is made out of waste that’s been rescued from landfills and oceans around the world. It performs exactly the same as brand new nylon and it can be recycled, recreated and remoulded again and again. That means you can create new products and buy new products without ever having to use new resources. Over 8 millions tonnes of new plastic inputs into the ocean every year. Econyl recover abandoned fishing nets from the seas by volunteer divers, nets that if not recovered, remain in the seas for 500 years, trapping and killing marine life.

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Linen

Linen is made from the fibres of the flax plant. Flax is very resilient and can grow in poor soil, without the need for pesticides or fertilisers and uses far less water in its production than cotton. However we understand that linen is not inherently sustainable and it is important to also rely on reputable third party certifications to ensure ethical practices are upheld throughout the production of the supply chain.

Continuous Improvement

For us it's all about progress not perfection, we are the first to put up our hand and say that we aren’t perfect. Every day we are looking to be better, more innovative, ethical and sustainable in our business. In line with this, we place a huge focus on our fabric sourcing and we want to be 100% transparent by sharing with you the fabrics we aren’t fully satisfied in using. Below we share why we are still using them and what we are doing to change this.

Cotton (non organic)

Non-organic cotton is cotton that is produced using synthetic fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides. We are very aware of the risks posed to people and the planet by non-organic cotton and by the end of 2020 we aim to have removed all non-organic cotton from our supply chain (see strategy) This is an incredibly important mission for us and we currently use as little non-organic cotton as possible. To read more about the challenges we face in eliminating non organic cotton from our supply chain see our Progress Not Perfection page.

Polyester and Nylon (virgin)

Virgin sourced polyester and nylon are newly created materials made from non-renewable, petroleum based sources. It is important for us to remove all virgin-sourced synthetic fibres from our supply chain, which we aim to achieve by end of 2020 (see strategy). Currently we still use some virgin sourced polyester and nylon in our garments. The reason being that polyester offers so much that other fabrics do not yet offer, or the minimums are still too high for us to order the non-polyester alternative that we would prefer to use. The performance and durability of polyester means that when we choose it, it is because it is the best option for that garment. Each season we phase out these fabrics little by little, as we discover new fabrics that we can replace them with. To read more about the challenges we face in eliminating virgin sourced synthetic fibres from our supply chain see our Progress Not Perfection page.

Silk

We currently still use some traditional silk in our collections although we are looking to shift all our silk to peace silk or silk alternatives going forward. Non-violent silk or peace silk is silk which has been made after the moth has left its cocoon. When the Silk moths emerge from the cocoon, it pierces the cocoon, breaking the continuous filament of silk. A single cocoon can provide anywhere between 600 and 1000 meters of continuous silk thread, but when the cocoon is pierced it reduces the yield of silk by nearly 80% making it cost up to twice as much as regular silk. We have found it challenging to find a peace silk to date that is of the same quality and durability of traditional silk. Although peace silk is very important to us we don’t want to sacrifice quality as ultimately, if a garment cannot stand the test of time then it is not sustainable. Please be patient with us as we continue to persist in our journey towards using 100% peace silk and if you are another brand who has found a brilliant quality and would be kind enough to share your supplier, we would be forever grateful.

Our Suppliers

We work with local importers in New Zealand who have long established relationships with overseas fabric manufacturers, while also working directly with some fabric mills. Our main supply points are in New Zealand Italy, China, India and Turkey.

Mr Shen

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Wall Fabrics

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Bonotto

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Bien Tex

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Abraham Moon and Sons

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Oritex

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Carvico Spa

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Selvage Cloth

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Suedwolle

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SÖKTAŞ

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