We want to be real with you: Jumping on the bandwagon and being ‘sustainable’ should not be a brand’s point of difference or a marketing technique. We are sick of vague claims and green washing, just because it’s on-trend to care about our planet. That’s not what we are here to do.
When it comes to manufacturing, we are passionately committed to creating the highest quality garments, with the lowest environmental impact possible (that don’t completely break the bank). It’s equally as important to share our manufacturing processes with you while we do.
Our process is careful and considered (hence our tagline: Mindfully Manufactured), something that (hopefully) has enough impact to lead and inspire the rest of the industry. Over the past year we have worked tirelessly with the team in our factory to create a collection of considered, high-quality, custom blend fabrications for our first Movement.
This was a huge undertaking as we feel strongly about not compromising on quality or the environment when it comes to the production of our garments. We spent months in learning, testing and discovery to find a balance for our fabrics that is appropriate for high-quality movement wear, has a low impact on the environment and, of course, is accessible within our budget.
Read more about our fabrics, dyes, finishes, trims and tags below.
What is a ‘sustainable’ fabric?
In a nutshell, fabrics that are considered as sustainably manufactured should be both good for people and the planet. They should be non-toxic, made from eco-friendly resources, like sustainably grown fibre crops or recycled materials. They should also be created in an ethical and considered environment.
Sustainable fabrics are made from natural or recycled materials, aiming to reduce harm through the production process, fibre properties or overall environmental impact. These fabrics can also contribute to waste reduction, water conservation, lowered emissions, and soil regeneration.
No one fabric is 100% ‘sustainable’, however, each fabric works together alongside other considerations (like the working environment, transport distance and method, packaging etc) to create the lowest impact on the environment possible.
The hope is that through responsible production and environmentally growing practices, better fabrics and education can help to create a more transparent and affordable fashion industry.
Our fabrics: Organic Hemp
Hemp is one of our favourite fabrics because it is naturally organic and requires no herbicides or pesticides. It grows densely, requires low amounts of water and creates zero waste.
Hemp also has incredible yield, improves soil health and is carbon positive. And to top it all off, it’s incredibly long-lasting and is naturally anti-bacterial.
We love Hemp.
Our fabrics: GOTS Certified Cotton
Organic cotton is a good sustainable solution as it is grown on chemical-free agricultural land that requires crop rotation ensuring biodiversity and soil health is maintained rather than use of monocrops (the practice of growing the same crop on the same plot of land depleting the soil of its nutrients and therefore reducing its ability to sequester carbon).
Using fewer pesticides means that the health of workers improves dramatically, communities can live in relative health with access to clean water and food supplies, and the land has a longer lifespan because it is not being damaged by chemicals. Because of this lack of chemical intervention organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility.
What is GOTS Certified?
GOTS or Global Organic Textile Standard sets the standard for textiles made from organic fibers. GOTS certified products adhere to strict environmental and social criteria, and must contain a minimum of 70% organic fibres.
The product must not be treated with bleach, formaldehyde or any other toxic substances and it must be coloured with nontoxic dyes.
The product must be produced in a mill that enforces strict social and environmental standards, treating their employees and the earth with deep respect.
GOTS certification means that our products meet the very highest standards.
GOTS is traceable through a Transaction Certificate system. Transaction Certificates are a document that verifies the origin and the organic status of a product. It lists the products, shipment and buyers details and declares the GOTS certification status. Each ‘producer’ along the supply chain has an independent certifier verify the transaction certificate for the next producer along the supply chain. In this way, the seed preparation, the farming, and each stage of production until the fabric is ready for clothing or textile manufacturing is certified organic.
And *drum roll please* we’re excited to say all the cotton in our first drop is GOTS certified.
Our fabrics: Repreve®
Repreve® or U TRUST® is high-quality and certified recycled fibre that diverts plastic waste from landfill — we’re talking 26 billion water bottles so far!
We use Repreve® to ensure our garments have a high-standard of performance qualities. These include shape retention, durability and stretch that allow for the garment to last longer, therefore being replaced less often.
Repreve® is a stand alone certification that allows us to add technical finishes (like sweat-wicking treatments) that we can’t add to GOTS Certified garments.
Our fabrics: Spandex
Spandex is another fabrication that we use (sparingly) to increase our garments lifespan through exceptional elasticity, fabric retention and strength.
Spandex has the ability to compliment movement and shapes, flexibility to fit around different body proportions and to increase the garments ability to return to its original shape after wear.
We use the smallest possible percentage, however without Spandex our products wouldn’t support the movement they are intended for.
Our fabrics: Recycled Polyester
Recycled Polyester is used in some of the items in Movement One as it is super lightweight, durable and quick drying (important when you are sweating). Recycled Polyester also helps with odour control.
Using GRS Certified Recycled Polyester is a great way to divert plastic from landfill. It lessens our dependence on petroleum as a source of raw materials. It also causes less air, water and soil contamination compared to virgin Polyester.
What is GRS Certified?
GRS or Global Recycled Standard Certifications have strict social and environmental processing requirements and chemical restrictions.
The standard applies to the full supply chain and addresses traceability, environmental principles, social requirements, chemical content and labelling
GRS requirements ensure accurate content claims, good working conditions, and that harmful environmental and chemical impacts are minimised.
We have big goals for the future of the fabrics for Nu Form. As our brand grows, we continue to test and perfect our fabric blends in the hope to create more access to these fabrications industry wide.
As we like to say: progress before perfection.
In an attempt to reduce the amount of unnecessary waste we create when starting a new brand, we’ve decided to ditch the swing tag.
This might seem like a crazy move, but we polled our collective and 95% of you said that 1) you just throw your swing tags straight in the bin and 2) you weren’t bothered by the idea of your garments having no swing tags on them.
So, we’re kicking those little unnecessary pieces to the curb to reduce waste. Instead, all the information you need can be found here, on our website.
All of our other labelling (care labels, neck tags etc) are lovingly made from recycled plastics.
What exactly is a garment finish? Finishes are all the additions to fabrications that help to improve its functional purpose (eg. making it sweat-proof), aesthetic purpose (fresh dye colours) and hand-feel (soft, buttery feeling).
When a garment passes certification (eg: GOTS or GRS) this includes its finishes, prints and trims as well as the fabric itself, so it’s important to consider each element holistically when creating a garment that is easy on the earth.
Finishes: GOTS Certified Dyes
GOTS Certified Dyes focus on end to end process and safety certifications. These dyes are specifically tested for skin safety (afterall, it is the biggest organ in the human body).
GOTS dyes have high absorption rates into the clothing which means less grey water run off as a by product.
To gain this certification, the dyes must pass strong social compliance management systems and strict waste water treatment processes.
They don’t contain any nasties like AZO dyes, carcinogens and heavy metals.
Finishes: Sweat wicking and moisture absorbent
We use a sweat wicking and moisture absorbent fabric for some of our garments to ensure that they are functional for moving your body in any way that might break up a sweat.
The way this works comes down to the pattern in which the fabric is knitted, forcing moisture into the outer layer of the garment. A wicking yarn is woven to have more space between the channels of each fibre ultimately resulting in more channels in which moisture can move.
This keeps the wearer dry and allows the body to regulate its temperature more effectively. It also helps to prevent the odor and irritation sometimes experienced with perspiration.
Finishes: Soft brush finish.
Some of our (favourite) garments have a soft brush finish added to their fabric, to help you feel amazing in them. The soft brush finish creates a beautiful, velvety hand-feel, kind of like the outside of a peach. It’s soft but still supportive. Think tights, bike shorts and flares.
Garment trims are all the additional pieces that are directly attached to the final garment to bring it to life. Think zippers, buttons, threads, linings, patches, edgings etc. Again, as all of our garments fit the rigorous constraints of GRS and GOTS certifications, trims are essential in consideration when creating for these certifications. This can be limiting but we believe we have found the perfect balance between functionality and environmentally-friendly.
We have added trims that are consistent across each garment, and consistent for future collections to prevent waste and overproduction. Pull cords and branded neck tapes are made from GRS certified recycled nylon or GOTS certified organic cotton.
Any prints you see applied to our garments (logos, back to tees etc) use GOTS certified inks and comply with GOTS approved printing processes.
We couldn’t create a long-lasting performance product without using our performance enhancing friend polyester. We’ve decided to only use this fibre in small amounts and when it is GRS certified or made but our friends at Repreve®.
We also acknowledge that when washing these fabrics, they shed micro fibres that are almost impossible to extract from the hydrosphere. So, we have created and produced our own wash bag that we are gifting with every purchase over $150 AUD. We recommend using this any time you wash your GRS polyester blends (and any other garment infact) to catch these little micro fibres, and then throw them in the bin (not wash them down the sink!).
By using the wash bag for all of your favourite garments you can also prolong the lifespan of your investment pieces.
Each piece from our first collection of Movement Essentials is created in limited runs. This means there are only a small number of each garment produced, to save on waste and to avoid overproduction. As the owners of Nu Form Movement own their factory we are able to produce on stripped back minimum order amounts to meet the demand.
We will produce more if you ask for it