November 3, 2015

What do you usually do with your clothes, accessories and bags when you’re pretty much done with them? Do you throw them away, repurpose them into something else or donate them to a charity? Like almost everything we do, including thinking and acting, fashion too happens in cycles. And it’s only normal that we stop wearing certain things. Countries like Australia have a vested interest in sustainable living, including upcycling clothes, composting in the garden and buying new old things. But if that’s not really your thing and you still want fresh threads, look to FREITAG.

f-abric4They first turned the world of accessories upside down when they introduced a new kind of messenger bag made of recycled truck tarps. The idea was born when graphic designer brothers Markus and Daniel Freitag were looking for something heavy-duty, functional and water-repellent to carry their designs. They’ve now taken the game up a notch to introduce F-ABRIC, a new material that consists of textiles by bast fibres produced in Europe that are hardwearing and biodegradable. Like their original messenger bag, the idea came about because they’ve always had a pickle about their employees in production and distribution wearing conventional workwear that were usually made of the usual cotton and synthetic materials.

They wanted to create fabrics and clothing that doesn’t waste resources or use too much chemicals, but still be able withstand the harsh wear and tear of the factory (and after-work parties too). After they’ve served their purpose, these garments can be thrown onto a compost heap where it’ll be able to biodegrade organically without any harmful residues.

f-abric6They went back to the beginning of the development cycle – the fibre – and decided on using two plant-based fibres, hemp and flax. These two bast fibres have a much smaller ecological footprint than cotton and create a very solid base for the textiles they were planning to develop. They threw in modal, a fibre made from beechwood, to give it a softer touch. However, a compostable fabric does not equate to a biodegradable garment, so they went all out and made sure that the linings, labels and selvages were also biodegradable. They even avoided rivets and made use of cheap standard polyester thread for stitching. Yes, even their buttons, though a patent is pending, can be unscrewed and removed from the garment.

A range of FREITAG’s F-ABRIC apparel ($125-$375) including denim jeans, shirts and tshirts will be available this month at ACTUALLY (orchardgateway #03-18).More on the collection here. Also, check out the creation process of the material below: