STINGplus Nettle Fabric Wins Sustainability Award
Would you buy an office chair upholstered with stinging nettles? What if you knew nettle fibers are stronger than cotton and finer than hemp, and that nettles grow like weeds without the benefits of the tons of pesticides and mass quantities of water required for cotton? What if the natural fire retardant properties of the nettle fabric means your seat covering is free from dangerous brominated fire retardants? What if nettles make the most sustainable fabric ever?Projects for converting stinging nettles into fine fabrics have popped up across Europe, in Germany, Italy, and now in the UK. Four years of research led by a team at De Montfort University in Leicester have enabled Camira Fabrics to develop an award winning upholstery, which the company is calling their "most sustainable fabric ever." Coming from a company with a track record of commitment to sustainability, that says a lot.
The judges at the London 100% Design exhibition, where STINGplus was launched, agreed. They awarded Camira Fabrics the 2008 Award for Sustainable Product Design. STINGplus is manufactured in a process which has been optimized to reduce water and energy use, a standard in Camira Fabric's "Second Nature" product line. The fabric is a blend of 25% locally grown nettle fibers with 75% wool. Manufactured with metal-free dyes, STINGplus is certified to be biodegradable within 28 days according to the test method set out by the British Standards organization. And, as it is manufactured using green electricity sources, Camira has certified the fabric as 100% renewable. Yes, the 100% Renewable and Compostable certificates signed by Camira development director Cheryl Kindness smack a wee bit of greenwashing. But Camira can be forgiven for tooting their own horn. In an industry notorious for significant negative environmental impact, Camira is leading the charge for change.
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