our fabrics

We work with fabrics that look amazing, feel great and are excellent choices for the planet. Why? Because up to 2/3 of the sustainability impact of clothing happens at the raw materials (a.k.a. fabrics) stage. Making good choices about the fabrics we use determines how you'll care for your garment, and the impact of its whole lifecycle. 

Lenzing Modal
Used in: The open-air pants

Modal is a fiber made from the renewable source of beech wood.

Not all modal is created equally. We source ours from Lenzing, a world-renowned, Bluesign-certified fabric fiber supplier. The term “Bluesign” comes from the name of a Swiss group called bluesign® technologies. This group monitors the complex journey of materials from factory to final product and oversees a robust system of factory auditing and certification. Lenzing sources beech cellulose (e.g. wood pulp!) from sustainable forests in Austria and neighbouring countries. To create modal, Lenzing uses a neat pulp-to-fiber process that recoups most of the process ingredients and causes very low air emissions. 

Some other cool facts about modal!

  • Naturally regulates: Modal fibers support body temperature regulating properties through their moisture management. Derived from natural material, the microscopic brils of cellulosic fibers are structured to regulate the absorption and release of moisture, contributing to fabric breathability that supports the body’s natural thermal regulation.
  • Super soft and durable: Modal fibers are twice as soft as cotton and are able to last longer and withstand repeated wash and dry cycles compared to cotton.
  • Biodegradable: Modal fiber types have been certified as biodegradable and compostable under industrial, home, soil and marine conditions, thus they can fully revert back to nature.

Used in: be free tank

Lyocell comes from the renewable wood sources of eucalyptus or oak trees, which are grown or found in sustainably managed forests. These wood fibres are then spun to form a yarn, then woven to create a soft, durable and highly breathable fabric that is excellent for #recreating activities. Lenzing (leading makers of modal) also create our lyocell. Lyocell made by Lenzing is called Tencel and is usually made from Eucalyptus :).

What makes Tencel so good? Eucalyptus in particular grows fast and thick on low-grade land and uses 80% less water than cotton. It also doesn't need heavy use of pesticides or insecticides to grow. Creating Tencel = a closed loop production process, meaning most inputs are recycled and pushed back into the system instead of being flushed out as wastewater!

Recycled Nylon
Used in: take a hike shorts
There tends to be greater familiarity with post-consumer waste in the apparel biz (e.g. turning plastic bottles into clothing!). We use something called pre-consumer recycled nylon to make our take a hike shorts. Pre-consumer recycled means the nylon is a by-product of other manufacturing processes, instead of a consumer good. Using pre-consumer nylon saves a lot of energy and makes the best use of manufacturing resources. It’s also a great choice because this process results in a fiber that’s high quality, certifiably sustainable and available with performance technologies that are super important for #recreating (e.g. quick dry, breathable!). Recycled nylon uses 75% less carbon emissions then virgin nylon production and contains 92%-100% pre-consumer recycled. Our particular nylon is also certified by the Global Recycled Standard which means a third party verifies the recycled input materials, tracks it from input to the final product and also ensures responsible social, environmental practices and chemical use through production.

Lycra / Spandex / Elastane
Used in: The open-air pants

Lycra, elastane or spandex is a synthetic fiber known for its exceptional elasticity. Neat trivia: The name "spandex" is an anagram of the word "expands". Spandex is often used because it blends well with other fabrics to create stretchy, form-fitting and highly durable garments. Currently spandex is not a sustainable fiber as it is derived from polyurethane - a.k.a. plastic. We are working hard to find new innovations (like recycled options) to replace the small percentage of spandex in our garments.


Labels & Trims
  • Labels: Our labels are made from 100% recycled materials. 

  • Trims (e.g. buttons, edge finishings, etc.): Currently it is very tricky to source trims from recycled materials, but we’re working on it!


More questions about our fabrics? Reach out at hello@alderapparel.com!