The Swiss company Rohner Textil developed a new material called Climatex® which meets the textile Eco-Label "Eco-Tex 2000".
Cotton is a pesticide intensive crop - "more chemicals are used on cotton than any other crop" "Around 150 grams of pesticides are used to grow the cotton for one T-shirt – the equivalent of one cup of sugar" (soil association website, 2005). Cotton is also water intensive when it is grown.
Climatex® was developed as substitute for cotton. Climatex® is a patented mix of ramie, pure wool and polyester. This gives it excellent seating comfort as ramie combines moisture absorption of wool with fast humidity transport of polyester. In 1995 Rohner Textil AG invested in a technological new yarn dye plant and was able to reduce the waterusage by 30% (http://www.climatex.com/de/produkte/pdfs/Environmental_Data.pdf)
By substituting cotton with a new raw material these environmental problems were avoided. In addition the need for waste water treatment during and after manufacture was solved.
Climatex® Lifecycle™, made from ramie, pure wool and polyester, was designed to minimise waste.. At the end of its useful life Climatex® Lifecycle™ is fully biodegradable. Any waste made during production i.e. scrap from weaving can be converted into felt to be subsequently used as upholstery interlining, felt-coasters or feltslippers or as a mulch in gardening - ideally suited for cultivation of strawberries, cucumbers and a wide range of other plants. Using 'waste as food' reduces the amount of solid waste going straight to landfill sites and creates useful secondary products.
Reference: Soil Association website: http://www.soilassociation.org/web/sa/saweb.nsf/Living/clothing_textiles.html (accessed 2005)
For more information on Climatex® visit http://www.climatex.com/en/products/climatex_e.html
For more information on Climatex® Lifecycle™ visit http://www.climatex.com/en/products/climatex_lifecycle_e.html