At LOZENA we search for fabric that has a minimal impact at each stage of the garment lifecycle. We consider the chemicals and the amount of water used on the land which raw materials are grown, and their effects on farmers as well as the environment. The CO2 emissions from seed to transportation to spinning are also our concern, and we seek to work with weavers who use hand looms to not only decrease emissions, but to also support traditional crafting skills. We look for biodegradable materials, reduce solid and water waste in our facilities and buy fabrics that can be laundered less frequently, by hand or in cold water to lower energy consumption.
We avoid conventional cotton at all costs, including when it is used in blended textiles. Cotton is one of the most water-intensive crops, requiring over 700 gallons to manufacture just one t-shirt. Conventional cotton is also responsible for a quarter of insecticide use, despite accounting for only 2.4% of the world's total cropland. We use organic cotton instead. Organic cotton farming keeps soil intact and farmers safe from agricultural chemicals. Because organic cotton farming still requires a lot of water, we also look for cellulose fibers such as Tencel or bamboo viscose that are Forest Stewardship Council certified, or that are made in a closed loop system to eliminate chemical dumping in waterways or monocropping. However, we prefer linen and hemp, which require little to no water or chemicals for growth and processing, and they naturally ward off pests.
When it comes to wool, alpaca is our number one choice. Alpaca tread lightly on the earth with their soft feet and simply eat grass to survive. Alpaca is also known to be several times warmer than regular sheep's wool; does not contain lanolin, therefore is hypoallergenic; and its soft, plush hand is comparable to cashmere. We choose alpaca because high demand for cashmere has led to overgrazing in many regions, contributing to desertification. Cashmere goats have sharp hooves that dig into the ground, and they tear plants away at the root as they eat, damaging ecosystems.
We do not use synthetic materials unless they are recycled. Fibers such as polyester, acrylic and nylon are petroleum or chemical-based and made from non-renewable and non-biodegradable resources. When we use synthetics, we choose discarded deadstock or the kind made from recycled post-consumer plastic bottles.
Silk is one of the finest yet strongest fibers in the world, which is why we love to use it so much. Preparing silk and extracting the fiber are simple, low-impact processes, and when the fibers are woven into fabric by hand, like the raw and taffeta silks used in our collections, silk has almost zero carbon footprint. Later, however, silk is often finished with toxic metallic salts and dyes to increase weight and color intensity and to improve draping quality. We seek out untreated silk that is dyed with non-toxic dyes. We also embrace peace silk, which is woven from fibers that have been broken as the moth emerges from the cocoon. Although slightly weaker and less lustrous than continuous thread silk, the life of the silkworm is saved, and it is still beautiful.