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.
For our collection we use mainly sustainably produced materials and prefer natural fibres, real comfort wear. All our sustainable materials are certified and in the production of our clothes we don’t use AZO dyes, so called plasticisers and nonylfenol ethoxylates. Naturally, 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 in colder weather. These natural materials – new and recycled – are complemented with some natural synthetic fibres and synthetic fibres which are being used solely to enhance the other materials.
Our collection consists for around 30% of organic cotton. We strive to use no other than organic cotton. Right now conventional cotton is already reduce to less than 1% of all our fabrics. And with new techniques the range of organic cotton fabrics and blends is growing exponentially.
All our organic cotton is GOTS certified. This Global Organic Textile Standard is the worldwide renound 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 also 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 slowly become infertile. GOTS sets strict conditions for factories where hand-picked cotton is processed: 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 also 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.
Reuse of textiles is of course more sustainable, because no extra raw materials and water have to be used, 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 u beautiful yarns in attractive colours, with which we love to work. 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 the collection consists of recycled textiles.
Natural synthetic fibres
Tencel ® is a highly durable man-made fibre. It 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. To put simply, it starts out as wood, becomes pulp, then fibres, yarn and finally the lovely fabric, Tencel ®.
The other good news is that the fabric is silky smooth to the touch, absorbs moisture better than cotton and feels cooler than linen. Ideal for those of us who appreciate comfort, and we like to work with it. By now 13% of our clothing is made from Tencel. Find our latest collection here.
Just like Tencel®, Modal® is a natural fibre, in this case made from Austrian beech wood. Here as well, the production process is extremely environmentally friendly. The fibre is exceptionally smooth and requires very little energy during later steps, such as colouring and spinning.
Modal® falls very lightly and feels soft as silk. It is ideal for combining with other fabrics.
Viscose feels wonderfully soft, absorbs moisture well and has a stylish look. The fabric is a natural fibre made from wood fibres. The production process for viscose is less environmentally friendly than the more recently developed Tencel and Modal, which is why we only use it sparsely in our collections. At the moment it is about 12.5% of the total.