At Baukjen we have recently introduced a new fabric to our list of Planet-friendly materials. Called EcoJilin viscose crepe, this fabric is silky smooth on one side and presents a slight texture on the other. For a while now we have struggled to replace silk in our collections with a material that has a lower environmental footprint and doesn’t present as many supply chain challenges (silk being an animal fibre that is often extracted in a process that kills the silkworms that produce it). This year our team has been happy to discover EcoJilin fabric as a plant-based alternative to silk.

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EcoJilin is a viscose fibre made from recycled cotton linters. Let’s break this down, shall we? Viscose is a cellulosic fibre made in an industrial process. This industrial process transforms cellulose from plants (usually wood chips), breaks it down into a pulp which is then cleaned, it goes through a chemical process that transforms the cellulose into a stable semi-synthetic material that is finally spun into yarn.

In the case of EcoJilin the viscose fibres are made from recycled cotton linters instead of wood. Cotton linters are fibres from the cotton plant that are too short to be made into yarn and fabric. A lot of those fibres are put into alternative uses, such as felts and even cotton pads. But even during these production processes there are small amounts of waste generated – called pre-consumer waste. When such “waste” is recycled, we call it pre-consumer recycling. In this case, pre-consumer cotton linters are recycled into viscose. Our fabric is then woven from the resulting yarn and finished to make it beautifully soft.

Our EcoJilin comes from a viscose producer in China. China is the world’s largest cotton producer and so it makes sense that as a market they would search for alternative uses for cotton linters. The company in question is a Green Shirt supplier as assessed by Canopy Planet, with whom we have a commitment to source only cellulosic fibres that do not cause deforestation and especially that do not endanger ancient forests. You can read more about our pledges to Canopy Planet on this blog post.

One of the key reasons we support the production of viscose fibres from cotton linters is that we understand the urgent need to preserve as many trees on our planet as possible. With demand for viscose and other cellulosic fibres rising, it is of increasing importance to make such fibres from alternative raw materials. Transforming a “waste” material into viscose is even better as it not only preserves forest cover but also contributes to a circular materials economy.

This season we have 6 styles in our collection made of satin back crepe with EcoJilin viscose. These pieces are modern classics designed to look elegant and timeless with ease and comfort.

This silk-like fabric has a good weight; it hangs and drapes beautifully making the clothes super comfortable and chic. One side is smooth satin, and the other has a matte (or crepe) finish. You can use this fabric either way to give different effects. The Sienna dress, Anthea, and Azalea trousers are all crepe side out which gives them a tailored edge whilst the Kat dress, Glenda blouse, and Angelina jumpsuit are all satin side which gives a luxe evening quality to them.

These special items are as easy to wear as they are to care for as they don’t wrinkle easily. Just steam or wash gently by hand only when needed – and let’s face it, not having to dry-clean makes it that bit more likely you’ll wear these clothes on rotation.

Perfect for special occasions, or make every day feel special just by wearing them!

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