©2019 by The Sustainability Sanctuary. Proudly created with Wix.com

Newcastle NSW, Australia

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Transparency of Materials We Support

CACTUS SILK

Also known as Sabra silk, these long plant-based fibres come from the Saharan Aloe Vera Cactus (part of the Agave family). The silk is made by breaking open the spiky leaves, crushing them and soaking in water to separate the fibres and filaments, before washing and drying the fibres in order to hand-spin them into silk threads. When spun into yarn it produces a luxurious, super soft fabric with a metallic sheen. Cactus silk naturally has a high elasticity so is easy to maintain wrinkle-free.
In accordance with traditional production cactus silk is only dyed with natural vegetable dyes – a time-intensive process which produces vibrant metallic colours without damaging the silk fibres. Cacti are quick to grow, use very minimal water and do not have any carbon footprint due to the hand-woven nature of this small-scale industry.

(Found in the Cactus Silk Cushion Covers range, in Homewares)

 

RECYCLED CORK

Cork originally comes from extracting the bark of the Cork Oak Tree (Quercus suber)– a renewable process which is not at all harmful to the tree and is replenished every 9 years naturally. It undergoes minimal processing and therefore has a very low environmental footprint compared to most other homeware materials. Traditionally used to seal and preserve wine in glass bottles, cork is becoming a much more commonly used material for a wide variety of products due to its naturally high waterproof resistance; not to mention its aesthetically pleasing natural pattern.

     Recycled cork, made from old cork offcuts rather than new cork from trees, helps to reduce wastage going to landfill, decrease carbon footprint of product manufacturing and is a fully plant-based system. Some of our cork products are also speckled with multi-coloured recycled offcuts from thong manufacturing for a colourful design whilst helping to save more products from landfill. 

 

(Found in the Wallets and Passport Holders, in our Men’s Accessories and Women’s Accessories collections)

 

 

ORGANIC COTTON

Cotton fibres come from the white protective seed cases of plant in the Gossypium genus and have become one of the most widely used fibres in the world for textile production. Demand for cotton clothing, bedding and accessories has increased dramatically and far outweighs the Earth’s natural abilities to yield as much. Regular cotton is currently one of the world’s most polluting fabrics, being water thirsty and chemical-intensive due to being forced to grow at such large and fast scales to meet demand, requiring a huge amount of artificial chemical pesticides and fertilisers to do so and destroying other habitats along the way. Any form of mono-crop production using artificial chemicals and genetically modified seeds is reliant on non-renewable resources and therefore can never be considered an environmentally sustainable form of clothing production.

     With Organic Cotton, crops are rotated from one soil patch to another – meaning less water is required to irrigate the nutrient-rich land, therefore eliminating the need for any chemical fertilisers. Some farmers are also protecting soil health and preventing erosion by growing ‘cover crops’ which suppress weeds, reduce herbicides and improve soil fertility. Organic cotton crops have also consistently been found to produce higher quality yarn than regular cotton!
      Cutting out chemicals does not only help the environment, but also the health of the farmers and of the end consumers. Regular cotton farmers are known for developing diseases later in life due to the continued exposure to toxic chemicals. Babies and children in particular should opt for organic cotton and be wary of regular cotton on their developing skin. This reduces irritation and the chances of allergies due to being softer and purer, therefore reducing their exposure to harsh chemicals at such vulnerable ages. 

     Unlike food, textile products are not required to be certified organic to be so. A product could claim to be organic but may only contain a small amount of actual organic cotton or may be made of organic cotton but dyed using toxic chemicals. Aside from the clothes then being covered in toxins, which can leach into our skin when wearing the clothing, the environmental impacts of this toxic dye water polluting waterways and leaching further into the environment can be catastrophic and pose huge threats to the landscapes, wildlife and human health. Greenpeace recently exposed that 20% of freshwater pollution comes from textile treatment and dyeing – an enormously scary figure and one that we as consumers cannot continue to support.

     The trend of “fast fashion” means someone is paying the true price of production and if that is not the consumer – then its either the farmer or the production worker. Organic farming recognises that the world we live in contains a fragile balance within a highly complex system, and that every action has impacts on other living beings and the environment; whether positive or negative. The reason organic is priced higher than regular is because the farmers make investments in soil quality, water conservation and biodiversity preservation – rather than just trying to find a “quick fix to make money” and therefore the true costs are not hidden. 

 

(Find Organic Cotton throughout most of our collections, including Women’s Clothing, Bedding, Children’s and Homewares)

 

 

RECYCLED COTTON

Cotton is, for all the reasons mentioned above, a great clothing textile. However, a better solution than growing new cotton is to recycle already-made cotton fabric through either post-industrial or post-consumer waste. A more environmentally sustainable alternative to organic cotton, Recycled Cotton uses less water and less energy in production and helps to give cotton fabric another lease of life rather than making its way into landfill. 

 

(Found in the Rugs, in our Homewares collection)

 

 

HEMP
For thousands of years Hemp (Cannabis sativa) was used as an industrial fibre on boats for sailcloth, canvas and rope due to its exceptional coarseness. This, however, restricted it from becoming a residential fabric for homes and clothing. In the 1980’s, an enzymatic process using fruit enzymes was developed to remove lignin from the hemp fibres without compromising its strength, therefore softening the fabric for use in clothing and textile making.
     Valued for its strength and durability, Hemp fabric lasts longer and wears better than those made from regular cotton or synthetics, offering consumers value for money since they will not need replacing anywhere near as often. Not only is it strong, but it holds its shape better than any other natural fibre which prevents garments from stretching with use. Hemp fabric breathes very well and is a natural insulator due to its hollow core fibre; a characteristic Hemp shares with wool - without all the ethical malarkey. Hemp keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer, whilst providing the highest UV protection of any natural fabric. Due to its porous nature, it is also more water absorbent and will retain its colour from natural dyes better than any other fabric. 
     Environmentally, Hemp has much lower water requirements than regular cotton and does not require any artificial fertilisers to grow, making it very environmentally sustainable and can be left to biodegrade naturally, leaving no toxic residue. As Hemp is grown and processed without the use of toxic chemicals, there are no irritants for asthma or allergy sufferers and is naturally resistant to mould and bacteria. It can be softened with fruit enzymes for more ‘wearable’ clothing. Hemp will never wear out, but rather ‘wear in’ – i.e. it gets softer and more comfortable the more you wear it!
     Hemp grows best in temperate or warm tropical climates and leaves the soil in excellent condition for the next crop by shedding their leaves throughout the growing seasons, continually adding rich nutrients to the topsoil, helping to retain moisture and growing perfectly without the addition of artificial chemical fertilisers. 

 

(Find Hemp throughout a number of our collections including Bedding, Pets, Homewares and all Clothing)

 

JUTE

Jute comes in a number of varieties from the plant genus Corchorus,which grow fast and tall on individual stems, reaching maturity by 6 months. They use a lot less water than conventional cotton growth and require no artificial chemicals to grow – just alluvial soil (soil deposited from freshwater streams which is packed full of essential vitamins and minerals, therefore highly fertile). 

     Jute fibres are long, strong, soft and shiny threads that can be spun into coarse and durable yarn used to make sturdy, affordable and breathable products such as rugs, sacks or rope. Its natural golden-brown colour makes it highly versatile and was known as the “wonder crop” until synthetic fibres entered the market and replaced it. Jute, like hemp, can be blended with other softer fabrics to soften the texture of a product.

 

(Found in our Rug range, in Homewares) 
 

 

LINEN

Originating from Europe and Central Asia, Linen is the fabric made from the Flax plant (Linum usitatissimum) (which also produces the seeds we eat in many health foods now). It is produced by first rippling the plants to remove the seeds. It is then retted by fruit enzymes or dew to soften and separate out the fibres (traditionally a several-week process) before the inner fibre core is broken out and ‘scutched’ to remove off any unwanted fibres. Finally, the longer flax fibres are separated and woven into linen or spun into yarn. Linen is strong, lightweight, naturally moth-resistant and can withstand high temperatures by absorbing moisture without holding bacteria.

    In general, regular flax growing uses far less chemicals than other crops such as regular cotton. It requires minimal water and pesticides to grow and many flax crops meet Organic standards (whether officially certified or not). 

      Some linens are dyed naturally and treated to reduce wrinkling (so the wrinklier the better, and your steam iron can do the rest!), but generally do not require chemicals to be  processed into textiles. If grown under optimal conditions, it can easily be grown without chemicals and on marginal land unsuitable for regular food crop production, yielding a large amount more fibre than cotton cropping per harvest. However, only regions that have a long history of growing linen are able to do so; generally European linen is higher quality and has a lower ecological footprint than that of other regions. 
     Linen fabric is cool in summer and warm in winter. It is also long-lasting, can be mended easily and softens well with age. 

 

(Found in a range of products within our Women’s Clothing and Children’s clothing collections)

 

MILULU GRASS

A reed-like swamp grass local to the riverbanks of Tanzania’s southern highlands, when sun-dried can be woven easily by skilled local artisans into a multitude of products and take well to being dyed naturally with local traditional vegetable dyes. A staple material in the culture of Tanzanian Hehe people.

(Found in the Planter Basket range, in Homewares)

NATURAL RUBBER

Used as a versatile material for many years, natural rubber combines high tensile strength with outstanding grip and resistance to fatigue particularly in hotter climates. Sourced from the rubber tree in India (Hevea brasiliensis), this organic latex is hand-tapped off the tree through making small incisions into the bark and collected the juice in small cups. The trees continue to grow naturally while continually providing rubber year after year, therefore making it a highly sustainable renewable resource.

 

(Found in the Yoga Mats, in both our Homeware or Accessories collections) 

 

TENCEL 

Regenerated by dissolving sustainably grown wood cellulose from Eucalyptus trees, this innovative lightweight fibre is much newer on the market than the classics but is deemed to be one of the most sustainable for the future of the textile industry. The trees are grown under sustainable forestry initiatives on marginal land which is otherwise unsuitable for other farming uses. The wood cellulose is treated in a closed loop system, therefore not producing any waste products and the solvents are almost 100% recycled.

    Tencel is strong, breathable and 50% more absorbent than cotton, softer than silk and cooler than linen. Its smooth surface regulates moisture very efficiently and its antibacterial properties make it perfect for garments in warmer climate. Tencel fibres are versatile and can be combined with other textile fibres, such as organic cotton or plant-based silk, to enhance functionality and aesthetics of fabrics. 

 

(Found in a range of products, in both our Men’s Clothing and Women’s Clothing collections) 

 

 

 

FASTENINGS/ACCESSORIES WE ACCEPT:

 

COCONUT BUTTONS
Collected from the discarded shell of the coconut. The shells are cleaned of flesh by submerging in boiled water, which also removes any potential parasites. The shells are then cut into blanks and put onto a rotating table to smooth out any rough edges, before holes are drilled into them (and any other patterns engraved) in order to make buttons. The buttons are then polished and washed, before being dried out at a medium temperature to prevent moisture making the buttons mouldy further down the track and prevent them cracking.

 

 

COROZO BUTTONS
Made from a 100% natural product, similar to hard resin, that comes from the seed of Corozo palms and can be referred to as “vegetable ivory”. It is highly durable, scratch resistant and elegant in its natural pattern – much like a fingerprint, ensuring no two buttons are the same.  Corozo is non-toxic, biodegradable and child-safe.

 

 

CELLULOSE ACETATE BUTTONS
Another material made from wood pulp, cellulose acetate has been around since the 19thcentury. It is a versatile material which can be mixed with synthetic properties to create a vast range of products. Whilst it was initially believed to be virtually non-biodegradable, in its simplest form these cellulose acetate buttons can be composted in biologically active soil – with the fibres being completely decomposed within 4-9 months. 

 

WOODEN BUTTONS
Naturally eco-friendly, durable and biodegradable, wooden buttons can be easily upcycled to alternative garments and can be composted once they reach the end of their lifespan. 

 

METAL (adjusting strap bars / magnetic snaps)
All metal can be easily saved and upcycled onto new products or can be melted down and re-formed into new pieces altogether.

 

 

 

CONSUMABLE-PRODUCT PACKAGING WE ACCEPT:

GLASS (Easily recyclable/up-cyclable)

METAL (Easily recyclable/up-cyclable)

CARDBOARD (Easily recyclable or even compostable)