Below you can read more about some of our most commonly used fibres.
Cotton is the world’s most popular natural fiber. It is soft, light and durable after wash and use. Cotton is moisture absorbent which make the cotton clothing especially comfortable next to skin. A variety of knitting and weaving methods can be applied giving us everything from very light, delicate underwear to heavy knitted garments. Cotton is also one of the world's most important fibers and is widely used in the clothing industry. Unfortunately, cotton production significantly burdens the environment with high water consumption, and extensive use of pesticides, insecticides and fertilizers. Therefore, it is important to choose more environmentally friendly cotton.
Varner aims to use only more sustainable cotton from 2020. This means we source our cotton through the Better Cotton Initiative or certified as Fairtrade, recycled or organic cotton
Cotton is produced many countries in warmer climates, with the largest production taking place in China, India and the United States, but also in countries such as Pakistan and Brazil. According to Fairtrade, 90% of cotton farmers are from developing countries.
Varner and all our concepts have signed Turkmen Cotton Pledge and Uzbek Cotton Pledge, which means we do not buy any cotton from these countries. This is because it has become known that there is considerable forced labor in cotton production right here, and we want to mark our stance against forced labor.
We are in addition to the 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challange (formerly Sustainable Cotton Communique) under the auspices of the Textile Exchange. The feed is to use only 100% more sustainable cotton by 2025.
The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) is a global supplier's network, which together addresses the negative impacts of conventional cotton production. BCI helps create a global cotton production that is better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in and better for the future of the sector.
The Better Cotton Initiative trains farmers to:
use water efficiently, care for soil health and natural habitats, reduce use of the most harmful chemicals and respect workers’ rights and wellbeing.
BCI operates as a not-for-profit organization. With its members constantly helping to increase the demand for Better Cotton, this could eventually result in replacing a big part of the global conventional cotton production, with Better Cotton production.
In 2017-2018, the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) licensed over 2 million farmers from 21 countries on five continents. Together, these farmer produced 19% of the world’s cotton. This is why Varner has joined the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) http://www.bettercotton.org/
We are committed to improving cotton farming practices globally with the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI).
We are committed to sourcing 100% of our cotton as “more sustainable” cotton by 2020. More sustainable cotton includes cotton sourced as Better Cotton, recycled, Fairtrade and organic cotton.
Better Cotton is not physically traceable to end products. However, BCI Farmers benefit from the demand for Better Cotton in equivalent volumes to those we ‘source’.
2016 marks the start of our journey with BCI.
Organic cotton is cotton grown without the use of toxic chemical pesticides, without artificial fertilizers, and without genetically modified seeds. In organic cotton production, farmers use local resources in a renewable and long-term way.
Our suppliers use the certification schemes OCS (Organic Content Standard) and GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard).
Fairtrade is an international organization that has strict demands on how raw materials are handled, expectations of safe working conditions for people and protection of the environment. Fairtrade enables more sustainable cultivation and a better life for farmers and workers in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Varner buys Fairtrade cotton, which means the cotton comes from farms that receive support in the transition to a more sustainable, chemical-free production and are helped in how to handle changing climate patterns. At the same time, health and safety are taken care of, and farmers are paid reasonably for their product.
A large percentage of Fairtrade cotton is also ecologically certified.
Varner carefully selects animal fibers based on their unique characteristics and capabilities.
Read more about animal welfare here.
Wool is a natural fiber with unique properties. The fiber is lightweight and at the same time warm, and is the only fiber that still heats in a wet state. It is versatile and can be used for everything from underwear to suits and outer coats. Merino wool is especially known for its softness and fine fiber and is especially suitable for keeping close to the body. We do not use wool from sheep exposed to mulesing.
Varner has committed to Responsible Wool Standard. Read more about RWS and animal welfare here.
The Woolmark brand was established in 1964 and has since assured the customer that the wool meets specific quality requirements and that the wool comes from Australia.
Alpaca fiber is soft, durable and hypoallergenic, meaning it can be used by persons with allergies.
Alpacas are located on large farms on the mountainsides of Peru, and they have little impact on the land they graze. Alpaca can be as soft as cashmere and Varner is therefore working to replace cashmere with alpaca fiber in our products.
Mohair is a strong, glossy and easy to use fiber. Varner buys all mohair from South Africa, where farms follow strict social and ethical guidelines for both humans and animals.
Down & feathers
Down has a very superior insulating ability. No other fiber warms so much and weighs so little. You will also find no other fiber that regulates heat as well as down! So on cold days, only goose down does the job.
Varner has for several years worked to ensure that down and feathers in our products come from good ethical conditions and has therefore committed ourselves to the Responsible Down Standard since 2016. All our products containing new down and feathers are RDS certified.
Leather is a very durable, dimensionally stable and «breathable» material. It is very suitable to be used in products such as belts and shoes. A lot of the leather that we use is vegetable-tanned with use of vegetable tanning agents from plant sources. The production waste is easier to handle, since - in contrast to traditional tanning - it’s free of chromium. We only use leather that comes from animals slaughtered for meat production.
MMC is a fiber group that includes viscose, lyocell and modal, and one common feature is that they are made of cellulose-based material.
Viscose is a very versatile fiber, made from cellulose, usually from wood. Viscose has the same comfort as natural fibers and is easily dyed in a wide range of colors. It is soft and comfortable against the skin. In addition, it is breathable and non-insulating, making it ideal for use in clothing for a hot and humid climate. Viscose is more moisture absorbent than cotton and not static.
Bamboo viscose is a type of viscose that comes from fast-growing bamboo trees.
ECOVERO ™ is a more environmentally friendly type of viscose fiber and is from the fiber manufacturer Lenzing. The fiber is made from FSC certified forest and the fiber is certified with EU's eco-label; EU Flower.
Modal can be said to be a further developed form of viscose. Modal is made in the same way as viscose, but is more elastic, and thus has a less tendency to curl. Modal is also stronger when wet.
Lyocell is made from cellulose from fast-growing trees that need little water and few pesticides to grow. Compared to traditional viscose production, the production of the Lyocell fiber uses little water, has a lower CO2 emission and since the chemical process takes place in a closed system, where chemicals are recycled, it also uses less of it.
TENCEL® is lyocell from fiber manufacturer Lenzing. It is made from FSC certified forest. Tencel is more moisture absorbent than cotton, softer than silk and cooler than linen. The production of this fiber is gentle on the environment as it uses less water and chemicals and the chemical process takes place in a closed cycle.
Livaeco® is a viscose from the fiber manufacturer Birla Group. It is made of FSC certified forest and is fully traceable. In production, a closed system is used, which results in less use of water and chemicals. The garments receive a beautiful fall and luxury softness.
In March 2020, Livaeco® products will be available in our stores and these have a QR code that can be scanned to see suppliers involved in the production.
FSC certified forest; The Forest Stewardship Council is an international non-profit organization established in 1993 to promote responsible management of the world's forests. The FSC labeling shows that the forest from which the material comes from is not endangered and managed in a good way.
Varner uses several different types of recycled fibers, both natural fibers and synthetic fibers. All recycled fibers we use are certified.
Read more about how Varner closes the loop under circularity here.
Depending on the type of fiber, a material can undergo chemical recycling or mechanical recycling. In chemical recycling, the fiber is broken down and redone into the same fiber, with the same properties. In mechanical recycling, the material is broken down into fiber again by mechanical machining. Then one gets a shorter fiber one original, and usually it is mixed with other stronger fibers to maintain the durability and service life of the garment.
Recycled polyester is made from PET bottles (plastic bottles you can buy at the store) and waste from clothing production. Since polyester comes from oil which is a non-renewable source, recycling is a very good way to minimize the use of resources and reduce waste.
The polyester fiber has good durability and has a unique property of preserving color, even after many washings. It is also resistant to sunlight.
Repreve is a kind of recycled polyester. Billions of PET bottles have so far been used in the production of Repreve branded products.
Polylana is a more sustainable alternative to acrylic. The fibers are made from a mix of polyester and recycled polyester.
Recycled polyamide comes from recycled waste such as old fishing nets, rugs and other consumer or industrial waste products. Regenerated polyamide can be reprocessed again and again.
ECONYL® is regenerated nylon made from nylon waste. This material can be recycled countless times.
Recycled wool is something that has been around for many hundreds of years already. Varner mainly uses recycled wool in outerwear and interlayer products. In order to maintain the original strength of the fabric, wool is often mixed with cotton or synthetic fiber, but also with new wool.
Recycled cotton comes from textile industrial waste or from discarded consumer articles that are broken down to fiber level and then spun into new yarn for new products. As with wool, some new or different fibers must be added to maintain good quality and durability.
Electroplating is a surface treatment performed on metal applications to avoid rust and abrasion. This is a process that requires a lot of resources in the form of water, energy and chemicals, and we minimize our environmental impact by choosing metal applications that are treated without electroplating.