French company offers jeans made 100% from nettles

Velcorex-Matières Françaises, an Alsatian textile company, intends to revolutionize the industry by offering a 100% nettles fabric. The "weed" is indeed a plant of future: with little water, without pesticide and without great maintenance, its fibers constitute a material both solid and ecological!
By offering its luxury fabric (velvet, silk ...) to high-end brands like Agnes. B, Hugo Boss, Armani or Max Mara, the Alsatian group Velcorex-Matières Françaises believes in its future. As proof, the company launches its own clothing brand and invests in environmentally friendly materials.


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The enemy is clearly pointed to: cotton! The proposed alternative is astonishing since it is the nettle, which is too often (wrongly) called a weed.
Cotton, an un-ecological textile that floods the market
Pierre Schmitt, the president of the group, explains to the microphone of France Inter that today "to make a cotton jeans, it takes between 5,000 and 10,000 liters of water. He adds that most people do not realize it. (...) According to experts, between 30 and 50% of the pesticides on the planet are used for the cultivation of cotton. " Yet there are many textile" natural "and much more environmentally friendly. Some are still common in our time when cotton has gradually invaded the entire market. Mention may be made, for example, of flax or hemp. But the French group wants to go further with pants 100% nettle. The idea may seem crazy and eccentric, but it would forget the many qualities of this plant!
This ecological approach to fabric is gaining momentum among manufacturers, although the movement remains limited. In Italy, for example, the brand Salvatore Ferragamo offers a dress with a fabric made from citrus fibers recovered in factories. In 2014, Pharell Williams made the buzz with his collection of jeans capsule "RAW for the Oceans" available from G-Star RAW manufactured with recycled materials from the oceans.
Credits: David Gowman
Nettle, a plant with many possibilities
Since the antiquity, the nettle is present in the gardens alongside the great medicinal herbs. Its medical qualities are recognized, the plant has in particular diuretic or antirheumatic virtues and is rich in iron and vitamins A and C. It is also used in cooking, mainly in the form of soup. When the plant grows, real branches appear. These are rich in fibers, such as hemp, and thus make it possible to weave webs. What was not used could serve as fodder for animals. For the anecdote, Ötzi, the 5,000-year-old "mummy" found in 1991 in the Alps on the Italo-Swiss border, held a flint dagger with a sheath made of nettle fibers.
Its progressive disappearance begins in the 19th century, when science develops and city dwellers begin to give less importance to the virtues of medicinal plants. An episode in the story of this plant told by Victor Hugo, who dedicates a poem to the nettle in Les Contemplations and recalls its use in Les Misérables .
Today, if production still exists in an almost confidential way, its use is limited to its food consumption, the famous nettle soup. The French company is therefore reviving with its pants the sector in France. Even more difficult is the task of restarting the mass production of the transformation of the branch into fabric. Ideally, Pierre Schmitt assures that production could start quickly for a current marketing.
Credits: DR

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