Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Are you wearing a paper dress?

(Sasawashi dresses by Linda Loudermilk Fall 06)

Dresses made from paper - Japanese papers called Washi. SASAWASHI is a new sustainable fabric woven by twisted Washi yarns which was blended with KUMAZASA. It is a birth of "old and new" wonderful fabric as washable as cotton with the feel of linen.
The Japanese have used WASHI since ancient times. It is most recognizable as calligraphy papers, fans and the iconic Shoji screens. The paper is strong and durable and it stands up well to humidity . Washi is made from wood bark/pulp traditionally but is also made from bamboo, hemp, rice and wheat pulps.
KUMAZASA or SASA is a Japanese herb that has many medicinal applications, it is used in preserving meats and in sushi. Part of the grass family, Kumazasa grows quickly and lives for 100 years. It flowers only once during it's lifetime and then dies.


Is Sasawashi sustainable?

Well many Econistas have issues with cotton. Mostly because the growth of conventional cotton involves tons of pesticides, in fact, cotton uses the most chemicals of all crops. It's mind blowing, but some say that 1 cup of chemicals were used to raise the cotton in one T-shirt. So if you're wearing jeans, T-shirt, socks and undies that are all made from cotton, that outfit could have around 2lbs of chemicals associated with it. These chemicals are destroying water and soil for generations to come. That's why some fashion designers, like Linda Loudermilk, are seeking out fabrics that are kinder to the earth. Since Washi can be made from many different fibers, you can choose ones that are sustainable, such as bamboo which grows like a grass. The Sasa is also a grass and only the leaves are used. Since the creation of washi has been around for hundreds of years and is a sustainable process, the creation of the fabric also requires less chemicals to break down the pulps into the substance used for the fabric.

1 comment:

veg-buildlog said...

Pleather sustainable? Yes!
Who says so? Most western governments funded a report called "Livestocks Long Shadow" that you can download by googling the .pdf

There's plenty to read on vegan sites if you want to know about the "by-product" theory. Personally I think it can only apply if the leather is given away practically for free. Maybe an argument for some wool, but leather makes money for the animal industry.