Fashion is more than just a pretty cover. Alchemist creates clothing with regard for people and environment, for people who believe in beautiful fair fashion for more than one season.
Natural and sustainable
For our collection we mainly use sustainably produced materials and we prefer natural fibres, for ultimate comfort. All our sustainable materials are certified and in the production of our clothing we don’t use AZO dyes, plasticisers and nonylfenol ethoxylates. Natural, we would like to say. This choice to create as much natural items as possible in wool, cotton and linen, suits us. The fabrics keep you cool in summer and warm on colder days. These natural materials – new and recycled – are complemented with some natural synthetic fibres and synthetic fibres, which are solely used to enhance the other materials.
Around 30% of our collection consists of organic cotton. We strive to use nothing than organic cotton. As this point the amount of conventional cotton in our fabrics is reduced to less than 1%. With the development of new techniques, the range of organic cottons, fabrics and blends is growing exponentially.
All our organic cotton is GOTS certified. This Global Organic Textile Standard is the worldwide renowned standard for organic textiles. It guarantees the entire production process for responsibly grown cotton, including the environmental and social aspects of cultivation. This means no hazardous chemicals are used, the farmer is free to choose which crops to grow and is also allowed to grow his own food. Organic cotton uses less water and energy because it gets more time to grow. The land also gets more time to recover after harvesting, so the soil doesn’t become infertile. GOTS sets strict social criteria for factories where hand-picked cotton is processed, like good employment conditions and a good working environment.
We like working with merino wool, because it is extremely fine, very strong and doesn’t itch. The wool use is guaranteed non-mulesing wool. Merino sheep have deep creases in their skin, where flies can easily lay eggs. The larvae penetrate the skin of the sheep causing myiasis, an infectious disease that’s very painful for the sheep and can even prove deadly. To avoid this suffering, many sheep farmers cut away skin from around the sheep’s buttocks. This so-called ‘mulesing’ process is very painful for the sheep, and is generally done without anaesthetic to reduce costs by shearers lacking the necessary surgical skills.
Fortunately, we don’t have to choose between two evils, as there is also non-mulesing wool. With this is animal-friendly wool the sheep farmers have made every effort to prevent infection. For example, through alternative feed, medication and thorough skin inspections. Many of these wools come from sheep bred to have less deep creases – which produces less wool – so that flies have less opportunity to lay their eggs. This site provides more information on mulesing and all kinds of animal-friendly alternatives. In our collection you also find animal-friendly mohair and alpaca. Wool makes up about 10% of our collection. As of 2019 we no longer use leather for our clothing and accessories.
Reusing textiles is one of the more sustainable things that we can do, because no new raw materials and water have to be used. This way we’re saving energy and putting much less strain on the environment. We work with recycled linen and denim, among other things. Recycled linen feels cool in summer and keeps you warm in colder weather. Recycled denim brings you beautiful yarns in attractive colours, which we love to work with. For our winter-wear Alchemist implements recycled wool as well. This wool is blended with some polyamide, to give it more strength and absorbing qualities. At the moment about 4.5% of our collection consists of recycled textiles.
Natural synthetic fibres
Tencel® is a highly durable man-made fibre, which is made out of eucalyptus wood from responsibly managed forests. The production process is environmentally friendly, as the solvent and water needed are used and reused in a closed cycle. The product starts out as wood, then it’s made into pulp, after that processed into fibres, then into yarn and finally into the lovely fabric, Tencel®. We love working with it, because Tencel® is silky smooth to the touch, absorbs moisture better than cotton and feels cooler than linen. Ideal for those of us who appreciate comfort. By now 13% of our clothing is made from Tencel®. Find our latest collection here.
Like Tencel®, Modal® is a natural fibre that is made from Austrian beech wood. The fibre is exceptionally smooth, and requires very little energy during later steps in production, such as coloring and spinning. This makes the production process extremely environmentally friendly.
Modal® falls very lightly and feels soft as silk, which makes it ideal for combining with other fabrics.
Viscose is a natural fibre made from wood. The fabric feels soft, absorbs moisture very well, and gives a luxurious appearance. The production process for viscose is not as environmentally friendly as the more recently developed Tencel® and Modal®, that is why we only seldom use it in our collections. At the moment, about 12,5% of our fabrics use viscose fibres