Three images of different types of elastic against a concrete background

Natural Rubber + Organic Cotton Elastic | Is this the world's most sustainable elastic?


“People are most creative when they operate within limits.” - Jason Hickel

 

The Story

The significance of this elastic to us at Paper Scissors Cloth extends beyond its exceptional quality and ethical sourcing; it embodies valuable lessons in challenging the status quo and finding innovative, creative solutions to problems.

When Mandy embarked on designing a children's clothing range, she encountered a frustrating snag: the inability to source elastic that aligned with her environmental and social principles. Faced with this challenge, Mandy's response was not to compromise her values but to innovate.

Determined and forward-thinking, Mandy undertook the momentous task of developing her own elastic. She envisioned a product that was crafted from natural, responsibly sourced materials, supported fair and equitable labour practices and could be safely disposed of after use.

What she created not only met her own needs but also filled a gap in the market and lead to the creation of CHARLE - Premium Haberdashery. Today, Mandy’s elastic enjoys global recognition including being adopted by renowned brands such as Kowtow and The Very Good Bra.

Mandy's journey illustrates how operating within social and environmental boundaries can spark creativity and ingenuity. Her success story serves as a testament to the power of innovation when driven by principles.

It reminds us to champion the innovators, problem solvers, and creative minds who will shape our world for the better. To them, we extend our heartfelt gratitude. 

 

“our vision is to replace synthetic rubber bands with sustainable ones worldwide, and also to advance sustainable rubber cultivation” - Mandy Geddert

 

About the Elastic

Elastic is generally produced by taking a series of stretchable core threads (such as spandex or rubber) and wrapping these in other threads (polyester, nylon, cotton etc). How this ‘wrapping’ takes place depends on the required function of the elastic but generally it will be knitted, braided or woven.

Most available elastics are made of a mix of natural and synthetic materials or fully synthetic materials. Often the exact composition is not stated, let alone where it was sourced or how it was produced.

CHARLE elastics are all made using 100% natural latex rubber cores and organic (GOTS) cotton or Tencel™ threads. Clear information is always given regarding product origin and manufacturing.

 

Rubber

Tree with metal container attached collecting natural rubber

Natural rubber is harvested from the sap of the Rubber tree. Rubber tapping involves stripping a small area of bark and collecting liquid sap. One tree can be harvested for 20-30 years.

Sustainable rubber production can increase biodiversity, support regenerative agriculture and provide valuable income to indigenous populations. Ensuring this requires transparency, partnership and policy.

The Fair Rubber Association (of which CHARLE elastic is a proud member) is an organisation dedicated to improving the living and working conditions of primary producers of natural rubber (latex).

 

Organic (GOTS) Cotton

CHARLE uses organic GOTS approved cotton from Turkey. GOTS certification assesses the growing, processing, manufacturing, labeling and distribution of textiles to ensure they adhere to strict environmental and social criteria.

GOTS is currently one of the most rigorous textile certification systems in the industry. It is by no means fool proof however in an industry rife with lack of transparency and complex supply chains it is currently one of the most trusted certifications when looking for more responsibly produced cotton.

 

Tencel™

Tencel™ is the brand name for lyocell fibres produced by Lenzing AG. Lyocell is produced by dissolving wood pulp and reforming it into a fibre. Other fabrics that use this process include viscose, rayon, bamboo. There are a raft of environmental and social issues related to the production of these fibres. Lenzing AG is currently the only company to have been awarded a dark green shirt by Canopy indicating that they are leading the way in more responsible production of these fibres.

If you want to learn more about these fibres and the environmental and social benefits of using branded Tencel™ head to our blog WTF is Viscose?.

 

Environmental and Social Commitment

  • GOTS certified organic cotton from Turkey
  • REACH compliant natural rubber sourced from Malaysia
  • Manufactured in Austria in a factory which sources its heat and electricity from an in-house hydroelectric and thermal plant
  • All products OEKO-TEX certified
  • Elastic bands shown to biodegrade in worm farms within 6-8 weeks given optimal conditions
  • Clear codes of conduct with regards to sourcing raw materials and production
  • Fair Rubber Association member

    Characteristics

    • Soft and supple
    • Multiple widths and styles available
    • Ecru (un-bleached) and black
    • Ecru elastics can be dyed with vegetable and biochemical dyes
    • Tested against heat and chlorine
    • Longer lifespan than conventional elastics
    • Light and strong weights available
    • Suitable for a range of garments and home wears including childrenswear, lingerie and shirring
    • Can be used directly against the skin or in casings
    • Vegan
    • Biodegradeable - tests in worm farms have shown that they biodegrade in 6-8 weeks in an optimal environment
    • 100% plastic free

    **Contains natural latex


    Caring for your Natural Elastic

    • Pre-washing required (due to the organic cotton content 5-10% shrinkage is possible)
    • Recommended 40° machine wash but can withstand temperatures up to 95°, including a steam sterilizer
    • Medium iron
    • Do not tumble dry
    • Optimal storage in a dry place at 20° out of direct sunlight


      Let’s chat...

      Check out our natural elastic collection. We have a wide range of styles and widths in stock and more available to order. Samples available on request.

      If you are looking for larger quantities or different styles/widths then please get in touch at hello@paperscissorscloth.co.nz. We look forward to further discussing your needs.

       

      Together we can #makeitbetter
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