From Stinging Nettles to Soothing Style

Italian researchers are looking to the past to protect the planet's future in a program designed to update traditional natural fiber textiles such as those made from stinging nettle, broom, hemp, flax and wool from native sheep. The program taking place at the National Research Council (CNR) in Florence is being conducted in collaboration with fashion design firms to create a range of jackets, skirts, trousers and made-to-measure suits from locally-grown and organic fibers. Italy, once one of the world's most important sources for textiles, is now largely dependent on imported non-organic cotton. "Every ton of clothing fabric imported from the Far East has an impact on the planet's atmosphere that is eight times higher than it would be if the cloth were produced locally," said CNR researcher Giampiero Maracchi. ::Life In Italy. photos — Life In Italy and Kristen Anderson

Tags: Italy