Cashmere: natural animal material. The down of the Cashmere goat is shorn once a year. The fibres are then washed, bleached, dyed and woven or knitted. Cashmere is ecologically sound, but its high consumption in the West has led to an intensification of farming, resulting in a significant reduction in vegetation and soil erosion in these countries (most often in Mongolia and the Himalayas). The GOTS-certified version is therefore preferable.
Natural rubber: natural plant material. It comes from the sap of the tropical Hevea tree (mainly in South East Asia). Natural rubber is preferred to synthetic rubber because the trees grow wild and the sap is harvested by local communities. The FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) label verifies that the rubber comes from responsible sources.
Vegetable-tanned and animal-friendly leather: animal material. Tanning is an obligatory step in transforming hides into leather. It allows them to be unalterable, more robust and to choose to make them more supple or on the contrary more rigid. Vegetable tanning is a natural technique using plants such as wood, bark, berries, leaves, etc. as they contain natural tannins. The waste water from these baths is therefore biodegradable. Vegetable tanned leather is an alternative to mineral tanned leather which uses chromium salt and aluminium which is dangerous for the people handling it and pollutes the ground water when this water is discharged as is into the environment.
Modal: artificial fibre obtained from the transformation of wood pulp (beech) into a reliable material by various chemical processes (sodium sulphate). It is manufactured in a closed circuit, i.e. the large quantities of water and chemicals used are recycled and reused until they are exhausted, and the water is treated before being discharged. Its CO2 footprint is neutral. For Modal to be environmentally friendly, care must be taken to ensure that the beech wood is sourced from PECF (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes) or FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified forests. It is an alternative to viscose* but TencelⓇ* which is very similar to modal but even more environmentally friendly as it is treated with natural non-toxic solvent.
PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate): a material derived from the recycling of plastic bottles. PET has a lower environmental impact than polyester*, as it requires a low proportion of primary material to be extracted. However, it is not a sustainable solution because polyester cannot be recycled in a closed loop, recycling polyester is energy intensive and requires the use of chemicals, and it releases microplastics during washing which end up in our oceans.
Polyurethane mixed with other vegetable fibres to obtain vegetable "leather
Q-NOVAⓇ: nylon fibre obtained from regenerated nylon raw materials. More precisely it is a mixture of Q Nova (= nylon 6.6 fibre from regenerated raw materials) and polyester recycled from plastic bottles (PET). This fibre is rather environmentally friendly because in addition to limiting waste production, Q-NOVAⓇ uses a mechanical regeneration process that does not involve additional chemical materials. This material reduces the amount of discarded nylon (which would take several decades to degrade) as the fibre is made up of more than 50% recycled material. This material is therefore an innovative alternative to nylon*.