Natural vegan fibres
Verdonce is an ethical, vegan business. We have been since the very beginning and always will be. We craft all our products from natural, plastic-free fibres. Verdonce is proud to be a PETA Business Friend and all our products are accredited PETA Approved Vegan. We don’t use any fabric or material of animal origin whatsoever.
We support ethical, local production and fair working conditions. Our zero waste principles mean choosing only natural fibres. But we also demand animal-friendly materials. Neither people or animals should suffer if we want to make our homes truly sustainable homes. That’s why we support the work of PETA and think that they are the right partner to work with to motivate us all and keep on doing things the way we do.
The materials we have carefully selected to use in our sustainable homeware collection include:
Find our more about each product and why we chose it below.
Recycled cotton is an extremely sustainable and natural fibre because it converts existing fabric scraps that would otherwise be discarded. The recycled cotton we use is 100% pre-consumer cotton, produced in Spain under certified GRS (Global Recycling Standard).
We use recycled cotton in our reusable produce bags, aprons and tea towels. The amazing thing is that these fibres can then be recycled again.
Why we use recycled cotton
We chose to use recycled cotton in certain products after carefully examining alternatives such as virgin cotton and organic cotton. We source from a GRS certified local mill which produces high grade fabrics which we have tested carefully.
Thanks to the reprocessing, we avoid wasting useful materials that would end up in landfills. This reduces usage of new raw materials and optimizes energy consumption. New cotton does not need planting, irrigating, picking, washing or importing. We avoid a whole lot of air and water pollution and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
0% direct water use
Water is a scarce resource. While cotton is a natural product it takes an astounding 20,000 litres of water to produce 1 kilogram! The recycled cotton we use in our products is made from reclaimed raw material. This does not use any water in the manufacturing process. What could be better than reducing water than not using any at all?
0% Chemical use
No chemical component of any type is added in the production of the recycled cotton fabric we use. We also avoid the use of pesticides and insecticides to grow new cotton crops.
0% direct CO2 emissions
The circular economy production process in the manufacture of recycled cotton fabrics means that we do not directly emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Energy consumption is also much lower to produce recycled cotton.
Cotton is a renewable, natural plant based fibre. Comforting, non-allergenic and absorbent. However, the cultivation of conventional cotton is not so rosy. To start with, it requires a lot of water. To make a T-Shirt requires around 2,700 litres of water. If this water comes from irrigation it can contribute to disasters like the Aral Sea. Cotton cultivation is also accounts for 25% of the worlds usage of pesticide and 11% of insecticides. According to the WHO this account for the death of 28,000 argricultural workers per year.
The production of organic cotton avoids the use of genetically modified seeds, pesticides and chemicals in production. Certified organic cotton of the kind we use in our reusable makeup remover pads uses 91% less water due to better conservation and usage of rainwater. Organic cotton is 80% rainfed.
Benefits of organic cotton
- Reduces environmental footprint by using 88% less water and 62% less energy.
- Increases biodiversity by practicing crop rotation and detoxifying land prior to cultivation.
- Does not destroy the habitat of small animals and insects like owls, snakes, earthworms, frogs etc. Rather, it encourages their dwelling.
- Promotes safe work and better livelihoods by paying fair prices to farmers and producers right the way through the supply chain.
Known as the “golden fibre” jute is the natural fibre of excellence. It is a highly ecological and sustainable material. A hectare of jute plants consumes about 15 tonnes of carbon dioxide and releases 11 tonnes of oxygen. Jute is fully biodegradable and rots down into soil.
What is jute?
Jute is a natural fibre extracted from the bark of the tropical jute plant, located under the main stem. It is produced from two main plant varieties: Corchorus capsularis (white jute) and Corchorus olitorius (tossa jute). The popular name for jute is “the Golden Fibre” owing to its golden colour and silky shine. It is 100% natural and ecological.
Why we use jute to make our reusable mesh produce bags and scrubbing cloths
Jute it is a fantastic natural fibre that meets all the requirements to be considered an ecological and sustainable material. It has been used since ancient times for the production of textile and for the transport and storage of grain, rice and wheat. Jute is one of nature’s strongest vegetable fibres. Silky, soft and smooth and non irritable for your skin.
This makes it ideal for the manufacture of products like our reusable mesh produce bags, and our sustainable kitchen & bathroom essentials like our natural jute scrubbing cloth or natural jute circulation mitt.
What makes jute an ecological and sustainable material?
Little use of water
Jute is watered by rainwater during the tropical monsoon period. It does not need to be supplied with water from rivers, lakes or aquifers which can bring contaminated water with organic impurities such as algae, sand or leaves. It also uses very little water during the production process.
Biodegradable and recyclable
Jute breaks down into natural chemical elements in a relatively short period of time. This transformation occurs due to the action of living organisms (bacteria, microorganisms, fungi, worms, insects, etc.) that use the fibres to produce energy and create other substances such as amino acids, new tissues or new organisms.
Scarce use of fertilizers or pesticides
Jute is cultivated in the rick alluvial basin of the Ganges Delta. The extraction process is carried out using retting – a natural biological processes of submerging the stalks in water. This property is essential, especially in the case of produce bags that we use to store food.
Strength and durability
Jute is one of the strongest natural vegetable fibres making it idea for the production of bags to hold and carry produce. Its carbon footprint is minimal: One hectare of jute plant consumes about 15 tons of carbon dioxide and releases 11 tons of oxygen. The assimilation of CO2 is several times greater than that of trees.
Jute cultivation helps the fertility of the soil where it is cultivated, which allows it to be used for other types of crops as well, such as rice.
Helps conserve your food and avoids build up of bacteria
Anti-static properties, breathability and low moisture retention make jute mesh great for storing your food. It has outstanding properties as a fibre for making scrubbing cloths because it doesn’t generate bacteria when wet or damp. This means that your scrubbing cloth doesn’t start to smell after a few days like other dishcloths do if left damp.
One of nature’s wonders, hemp is an incredibly useful plant. Industrial hemp can be used to create a natural fibre as well as dozens of other useful products like insulation, food and biofuel. Just about every part of an industrial hemp plant has value and purpose!
What is hemp fibre?
Hemp is one of the fastest growing plants and one of the first plants to be spun into fibre more than 50,000 years ago. The fibre comes from the bast (or phloem) of the plant. This is the outer part of the stem just below the epidermis.
Similar to jute, hemp is naturally one of the most environmentally friendly fibres. It is even considered carbon negative. It is naturally resistant to pests and disease. Because it grows fast, tall and close together also means that weeds do not grow easily among the crop. Like jute it doesn’t require pesticides and hardly requires any fertilizers.
Fun fact: Did you know that in the 1930s hemp threatened the efforts of DuPont to build a market for synthetic fibres. So scare stories were spread about cannabis as a way to give hemp a bad name! As you may know, the hemp plant is a variety of Cannabis sativa. Source: The Economist, Special Report, Stumbling in the Dark, 14th August 2018.
The benefits of hemp fibre
- Requires little water and few inputs. It grows 4 metres in just 3 months!
- Yield of hemp fibre per hectare of land is higher than cotton or flax
- Like jute it is one of the strongest natural fibres
- Anti-bacterial with excellent breathability
- Softens with use and has high abrasion resistance
- Very little waste as the non-target material for fibre production is used for many other applications such as insulation or biofuel
Hemp in the Verdonce collection
We currently use hemp for the straps on our sustainable, recycled cotton arpon and several tote bags. It is very resistant but soft to the touch at the same time. Will we also use hemp straps on our totes and shoppers.