PYRATEX® element fabrics are built with the most unique fibres in the textile industry.
PYRATEX® element 1 is made with nettle that grows wild in the mountain forests of the Himalayas. It is a breathable, soft jersey fabric that helps maintain biodiversity and social fairness, as wild nettle harvest creates improved livelihoods, protected forests and regenerated land.
It was worn by humans over 2000 years ago, but lost its popularity in the industry when cotton and silk came to the market. It has, however, a long history in traditional medicine, having been used to treat several diseases, such as chest pain, tuberculosis, headache, asthma and more.
The tough nettle bark, with fiber adhering to the inside, is peeled in ribbons from the still-green stalks, and the woody interior is left behind to decay in the forest where it was harvested. It is these ribbons of bark that constitute the raw fiber from which our textile fiber is extracted.
The areas in Nepal where the nettle grows are high poverty areas. The harvesting of the nettle fibre provides workplaces, supporting local farmers with an additional income.
A growing number of farmers and harvesters are women, as the men have moved to the Gulf states to find work as labourers and in other service roles.
PYRATEX® element 1 is not simply a material story, but a story about establishing means of wealth generation, gender equality, and environmental sustainability through social equality in developing nations.
PYRATEX® element 2 is created with agriwaste from food industry banana trees.
Banana waste fiber is naturally absorbent, biodegradable, and allergen free. Compared to other food or agriwaste fibers, it has a 60% higher yield, is 100% natural, and no chemicals are used in its production.
This agricultural by-product allows for the water to be reused for farming, and local farmers to have an additional income stream.
There is a long tradition in India of burning agricultural waste: when harvesting the banana tree, leaves and trunks are burned. This produces a high CO2 level, released into the atmosphere. However, by using this waste as fiber, PYRATEX® avoids CO2 emissions, and any negative impact on the environment.
PYRATEX® element 2 also contains GOTS certified organic cotton, grown according to organic agricultural standards. Its production sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people by using natural processes rather than artificial inputs.
Compared to growing regular cotton, organic cotton reduces field emissions from fertilizer, energy use, and needs less irrigation.