Responsibly Sourced is the current tag line or way of categorizing if our food, home goods, clothing and fabrics are being produced in an eco-friendly manner. Not many people look at fabric and wonder if it is Responsibly Sourced. Well, we should! Think about it, fabrics are everywhere: we wear it, we sit on it, we use it in the bath and kitchen, and we sleep on it and even walk on it. Historically the textile industry has been a major contributor to the negative effects of climate control. The material fibers, the dyes, the chemicals and the manufacturing process itself are some of the offenders. Indie textile designers have opened up a whole new way of thinking about fabrics in connection to our planet’s health. Design No. Five is taking advantage of these new technologies and innovations.
Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword for me; it’s how I was raised. I grew up with a very thrifty mother who lived through World War II. We didn’t recycle, we up-cycled again and again - and that stayed with me. It was ingrained in me. This culture of sustainability has been factored into the Design No. Five approach to all of our designs. Not only is the linen eco-friendly, so are our suppliers and manufacturing partners. The ink and ink-disposal process are eco-friendly. And the down in our pillows is responsibly sourced.
Businesses have a variety ways of defining what responsible sourcing looks like. Some define it as buying only ingredients or materials that have achieved a certain third-party standard, like the Rainforest Alliance seal of approval used for things like coffee and bananas, or Better Cotton Initiative - backed cotton, now used widely across the fashion and apparel sectors. These labels have set out a number of criteria they want farmers and suppliers to adhere to in order to award their badge of honor. Most of the key commodities have such certification schemes in place.
Of course, this approach to sourcing is a lot more complex and costly than what went before, where companies would blindly procure ingredients from the open market and by and large the only real consideration would have been the price. As a result, there is a still a long way to go before these types of approaches are orchestrated by the majority of companies in any given sector.
Here is a great link for learning how linen is made from flax and what makes it so eco-friendly. Design No. Five sources only Libeco Linen as our ground cloth or base for all of our designs – check out About Linen.