Sustainable fashion is about more than just organic cotton. From the fabrics we source to the packaging we use, to the way we make our clothes, we’re working to minimize the negative impact the fashion industry has on our planet. We believe in slow fashion, buying fewer and better, sourcing materials with respect for the earth, transparent supply chains, and valuing the people involved at every stage of the production process.
The future of fashion is respecting the environment and working with nature instead of against it. By continuing to source as many sustainable materials as possible and working with as much sustainable processes as possible we encourage a more mindful fashion sense.
Our buttons …
The small detail matters… our buttons are also recycled and biodegradable. Made from fibres of products used in the food industry and recycled paper.
Our buttons supplier, it’s a Portuguese factory with almost 50 years experience in the production of raw materials. Their last ten years resulted in an of careful research and technological innovations, they had produced a totally exclusive line of buttons made of recycled material, recycled real horn, natural vegetal fibres and biodegradable components.
When changing the little details on a garment, a simple button made of raw recycled materials can add a special and mindful value.
Our fabrics …
Our fabrics are natural and refined. For our clothes, we use only natural fibers, such as cotton, linen, tencel, cupro and hemp. These require fewer resources to be produced, create less pollution, and decompose back into the earth far more quickly than synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon. Many of our fabrics are GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified, in small-scale production facilities. We work with high-quality materials that offer a lasting good fit and beautiful appearance.
Organic cotton eliminates the use of toxic and persistent chemicals, improves soil health and increases water conservation. All of these qualities make it a better crop for the environment, and for the farmers and their communities. this motivated us to increase the amount of certified organic cotton that we use for our designs.
Lyocell and tencel
TENCEL™ branded lyocell and modal fibres are produced by environmentally responsible processes from the sustainably sourced natural raw material wood. These fibres are versatile and can be combined with a wide range of textile fibres such as cotton, polyester, acrylic, wool, and silk to enhance the aesthetics and functionality of fabrics. The unique physical properties of TENCEL™ Lyocell fibres lead to their great strength, efficient moisture absorption and gentleness to skin.
Linen is known for being the oldest natural fibre still in use today made from the stalks of the flax plant Linum. Linen is highly breathable, soft and a natural insulator. It's fibres are hollow, moving air and moisture naturally. It is valued for its ability to keep cool in the summer months and trap warmth in colder weather. This is all achieved through the natural properties of the fibre itself. The production of linen requires less water and fares better in terms of water toxicity. As a result, overall, the environmental impact of the linen (flax) garment is considered to be much lower than that of the cotton garment.
Technically, it’s cotton, but from another part of the cotton plant, giving the resulting fabric a significantly different feel than typical cotton. The fiber itself is derived from cotton linter, which is the very fine, soft material that sticks to the cottonseeds and is left behind after the cotton has been ginned. Usually, these fibers are discarded, however, they are now recycled for the production of this surprisingly beautiful textile.
Hemp fiber is very strong, and it will keep a good appearance for a long time. As a fabric, hemp provides all the warmth and softness of a natural textile but with superior durability that is seldomly found in other materials. Hemp is extremely versatile and can be used for countless products such as apparel, accessories, shoes, furniture, car and home furnishings. Apparel made from hemp incorporates all its beneficial qualities and will likely last longer and withstand harsh conditions.
Our production …
Clothing production consumes resources and contributes to climate change. The raw materials used to manufacture clothes require land and water, and the eventual use of fossil fuels for transportation. Clothing production in factories involves processes which also require water and energy and use chemical dyes, finishes and coatings – some of which are toxic.
Elementum production is fair and close to home. We are based in Portugal, where we also do most of our production and manufacturing. Our production chain is highly simplified. We focus on positive collaborations with our suppliers and keep the process close to us. We produce our jersey pieces directly in our studio, our shirts are produced in a small atelier near to our workspace, and our 3D knitwear in family factory in the Netherlands, where we started out in 2008.
Then and now, our production is built around principles of Zero Waste, for the jersey garments we use tubular fabrics made in Portugal, with different widths for the different sizes. There is no cut off materials or leftovers, and we produce almost with no stitches at all. The only waste we can find are the small defects of fabric … and still we will use the maximum of these defects for our labels and ribbon that can be further used as a belt or lace.
In conventional tailoring, fabrics are manufactured in a square shape, then cut into round forms and sewn together. Producing in this way leads to leftovers of valuable resources. At Elementum, we make use of the complete fabric and incorporate minimum cuts in the fabric so that we can provide you with maximum use for your clothes.
“… the more awareness we can bring to the stories behind our clothes, the more impact we can have across the fashion industry to raise its standards for the workers and for the environment. Your curiosity, your voice, and your shopping habits are more powerful than you know…”
- Fashion Revolution
We produce our clothes with local Portuguese factories that offer good working conditions. Here's a view of our garment factory partner in Leiria.