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The most ecological fibre

Saint Basics Saint Basics 27 Jul 2019 The most ecological fibre
In January 2024 Shop Like You Give a Damn acquired Saint Basics. This is why all the editorial content that founders Peter and Anita created with so much dedication, is now featured amongst our blogs.

The fibre for our latest undies is called TENCEL lyocell. There are two reasons why we chose it: it gives great comfortability, and it's the most ecological fibre around. Softer than silk, cooler than cotton, stronger and more sustainable than bamboo. We're happy to have a good cooperation with the only supplier in the world: the Lenzing company in Austria.

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You can find the Lenzing company on the north side of the Attersee near Salzburg. There's a small town called Lenzing, after which the company was named. It started out as a paper mill, but some decades ago Lenzing switched to producing cellulose fibres for the textile industry. Their innovative TENCEL lyocell fibre stems from the nineties but is just starting to catch on in the fashion world. We're one of the few brands to apply it in design underwear.

"It's the only fibre that is made in a sustainable, zero waste process."

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How it's made
There's a big difference between TENCEL™ lyocell and other types of lyocell. It's the only fibre that is made in a sustainable, zero waste process. Lenzing is the only company doing this. To make sure you as a consumer have the real thing, every batch of fabric we produce is certified by Lenzing.

The fibre is produced using an organic compound (amine oxide) in a closed loop system. 99.5% of the solvent is re-used. No aggressive chemicals like sulphuric acid are used (as is the case with bamboo and other rayons). 

 After processing, the finished product looks a lot like a very clean bale of cotton. These bales are shipped to spinning mills, where the fibre is carded and spun into yarns. In our case, this happens in Portugal, where the knitting, dyeing and finishing also takes place. Of course, this entire follow-up process is 100% free from sweatshops, child labour and unfair trade.

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Bacteria hate it
Now, why is TENCEL™ lyocell the ideal material for underwear? Besides the fact that it's super soft, the fabric allows your skin to breathe and it has bacterial-inhibitory properties. The fiber has microscopic channels that let the moisture of your body evaporate rapidly. Consequently bacteria have little chance to develop, keeping you nice and fresh.

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No smelly business going on ;-) And it's quite airy too. As one of our models once exclaimed during a shoot: "It feels like I'm not wearing anything!" Luckily he was still happy to be photographed though...