Sustainability is an ongoing journey at Freja Løwe and I have a holistic approach to always seek out the best options. I don’t have all the answers, but I focus on both small and big efforts, that influence the overall impact. I would like to be transparent and give you insight into how the products are made and what they’re made of.
I use 100% natural dyes that are extracted from roots, leaves, flowers, food-waste and other natural sources. All dye material is harvested with respect for nature and no harm is caused to the environment. To make the colors last as long as possible, natural mordants such as minerals, oils, alum and iron vat is used. No chemicals or heavy metal mordants are used, therefore the dyes are 100% safe and natural. The dyes and patterns are developed in my studio or at Tarum, a local dye house in Bali. Every piece of fabric is dyed by hand, therefore I only produce small quantities or make the products by order. The colors will vary in each batch, due to the natural methods.
There are different things to consider when deciding on the sustainable properties of fabric. Since I believe in the benefits of making long lasting products, I consider the durability of the fabric highly. I also consider the production process, and to what extent it causes harm to the environment. For example the amount of water used, which chemicals (if any) are used, and the working environment and safety in the factory. All fabrics are 100% natural, so they can go back into nature. The composition of the fabrics I work with are always mono material, which means that I don’t use mixed fiber fabrics. This makes it possible for the product to be recycled or biodegraded at the end of its life.
Linen fibre which is made from the flax plant is very durable and long lasting. It is one of the strongest plant fibers, and can last many years. The flax plant grows fast without any irrigation and everything from the production can be used to create a worthwhile product. Linen has cooling properties and is very breathable, which makes it suitable for hot climates. It is one of the most biodegradable fabrics.
Organic cotton is unlike conventional cotton, grown without the use of chemicals and pesticides. This means safer conditions for the workers who harvest it, and a smaller environmental impact. The organic cotton I use, is from the island of Java next to Bali. The cotton is spun and woven by hand in Bali, by my local partners at Tarum. The craftsmanship that goes into this process creates a unique structure no machine can create.
Silk has a long history as one of the worlds most luxurious fibers. When working with natural dyes, one of the things I consider highly is how well the color sticks to the fabric. Silk is one of the fibers that works best with natural pigments and when the color fades, it still looks fresh. Silk is a highly aesthetically sustainable material, that ages with grace and can last for many years if treated with care.
All products are designed by me, in my studio in Denmark or Bali. In Bali I work with a local pattern maker/tailor with six employees. This way we can work closely together and build a long-lasting partnership. Thereby I also make sure the quality standard is consistent and that the workers are treated and paid fairly. Furthermore I work with a local dye house, who dye some of the fabric and weave the lovely organic cotton I use.