Ecoist Verified - Libeco Belgian Linen
by Paloma Jacome
At Ecoist, we don’t only curate our selection to be luxuriously chic, we thoroughly vet every item to be absolutely certain they are ethically sourced and healthy for our planet. It's our responsibility to do our due diligence and investigate thoroughly to qualify products sold on our platform for being the trusted marketplace for our customers.
By taking the time to carefully ensure that all of our items are responsibly made, we are happy to give back time to you, so you can feel good about the beautiful Ecoist pieces you elevate your home with. Why we choose Libeco for all of our Belgian linen collections is because of Libeco’s long-standing reputation as a sustainable manufacturer. We admire and support Libeco Belgian linen and what they do - these are the outlines we consider when curating our selections.
Program for end of life - Designing for circularity
Before production, it is important to Ecoist that every item is designed for circularity to prevent further pollution from entering landfills and the overall natural environment. Not all items can be stopped from ending up in the landfills but we do our best to consider products like Belgian linen that have the end of life which can be natural disposal and harmless. Linen is one of the leading textiles that are designed for a circular economy which is urgently necessary as fast consumer behaviorism increases and the textile industry in general contributes an alarming amount of waste. Ecoist only chooses pure, 100% linen that is not mixed with other synthetic materials or chemically treated cotton. Pure linen’s end of life for disposal happens quickly since it is made of organic, biodegradable material. Once buried in soil, pure linen decomposes in 6 months, preventing textile waste. Additionally, because of linen’s high quality as a textile such as its durability, linen gets better over time which makes the textile excellent for reuse.
Product Materials - From Flax to Linen
To Ecoist, a product’s raw material defines its sustainability qualification. Since most fabrics today are blended and include oil-based plastics such as polyester or are chemically processed to synthetics such as rayon, we vet only natural fabrics. Because Belgian linen textiles are derived from natural materials, linen products avoid oil-based plastics that do not properly degrade and contribute to microplastics in waterways.
Linen all starts with the flax plant, a fibrous crop which grows best in temperate climates such as Belgium. Belgian linen has a rich history dating back as early as the Middle Ages. Linen has survived centuries throughout human history because of its sustainable processing and abundance of flax plants.
Ecoist chose Libeco because of its reputation as a master of Belgian linen since the 18th century.
Product Consumes Less Resources - How Sustainable is Linen?
Linen uses approximately 90% less embodied energy in its manufacture than polyester, fast fashion's most common fabric. Compared to its natural rival, cotton, linen requires only 100 days to be harvested from seeds while cotton requires 160. Therefore, linen is easily produced while using 4x less in water than cotton. This is because flax plants do not require strict conditions to grow such as high quality soil or with watering systems.
While flax plants grow, they do not need irrigation systems because the rain from temperate climates such as Belgium or France is enough.
For processing the flax plants to harvest its fibers, the natural process of dew retting occurs. Retting is the process in which these fibers are separated from the flax plant’s stalk by degrading the plant’s starch that holds the fibers together using bacteria. The most natural and traditional method for retting, dating as far back as the 13th century, typically involves water such as rivers or pools. Today, Libeco utilizes dew retting to naturally process flax for linen production while reducing overall water usage. Also, linen is more organic than other natural fabrics because flax plants do not require the same pesticide and fertilizer usage as other crops such as cotton.
Product Impact is Eco-Friendly - Long Lasting Physical and Emotional Qualities
Most home goods such as blankets or pillows are made with oil-based plastic fabrics such as polyester to create artificial softness. However, Belgian linen replaces these toxic, synthetic home goods with naturally soft, durable, breathable and timeless household linens that get better with every use and do not harm the environment in the process. This also means you can pass down Belgian linens for generations and create your own family heirlooms, while preventing more textile waste from entering landfills.
The conscious investment in high quality items that elevate your home and support sustainable living, combats consumerist behavior that has been damaging the planet and exploiting workers around the world for decades. Being an eco-conscious consumer means more than just choosing items that last longer, but also choosing items that have timeless qualities you will love for longer too. Investing in products that have long lasting emotional and physical qualities is one way to be an eco-conscious consumer, creating a happier and healthier home for you and the environment.
Manufacturing process - How Libeco is Carbon Neutral
There are several manufacturing practices that Libeco follows to produce Belgian linen as sustainably as possible. A great example, Libeco facilities operate using renewable energy sources, employing almost 4,000 solar panels in 2022. At least 25% of this renewable energy comes directly from Libeco’s own facilities, while the remaining energy comes from renewable wind energy sources.
In addition to Libeco’s responsible renewable energy consumption, Libeco maintains itself as a carbon-neutral company by carbon emission reductions in transportation and heating and cooling systems. Libeco as a weaving mill has been certified as carbon-neutral for almost a decade. Besides these specific measures for carbon-neutrality, Libeco also executes zero waste production by recycling waste products such as selvedge and shearing dust into insulation or paper products. For over 100 years, Libeco’s title as a “master of linen” is showcased in its flawless execution.
Years of mastery makes Libeco the best manufacturer in Belgian linen, always getting it right the first time and reducing waste energy for manufacturing. All of Libeco’s products have been certified as 100% Oeko-Tek. These are important reasons why we trust Libeco with our favorite Ecoist items.
Finance Positive Carbon Activities - Ecoist Admires Libeco’s Climate Dedication
Ecoist supports ocean reforestation efforts for every item sold through our 1% For The Planet partnership with the non-profit organization, Sea-Trees, so we appreciate when other companies we source from also engage in positive carbon activities. Over the last decade, Libeco has cut its carbon emissions in half to around 386 tons in 2021. As part of their carbon-neutrality measures, Libeco offsets their carbon emissions they are not able to reduce at their own facilities by funding an accredited climate project in Uganda. This climate project is for clean energy in Uganda through the adoption of energy-efficient stoves. Every stove sold reduces carbon emissions by 1.4 tons per year, improving air quality and deforestation in Uganda. Ecoist admires Libeco’s dedication to being a leading company in combating climate change through the power of business.
Verified by Ecoist 💚- We Approve Libeco Belgian Linen!!
At Ecoist, we are committed to going the extra mile in finding the highest quality homewares designed for circularity which is why we undergo a vetting process for every item we select. It can be a challenge to find the same pure linen today that existed several centuries ago. For example, there’s linen blends which can lower the fabric quality and there’s Belgian flax linen which also does not maintain the same quality as authentic Belgian linen, produced specially in Belgium. That’s why Ecoist has curated the purest collection of Belgian linen from the historically reputable producer, Libeco. Whether it’s Belgian linen bedding for comfier sleeping or Belgian linen throws you can wear multiple ways, you can find genuine and sustainably made Belgian linens.
Refine your homes with timeless linens including the Belgian linen throw and towel, Belgian linen tablecloth, Belgian linen table napkin: all that will remain in your family for generations.
Belgian Linen™ - flax from Western Europe woven in Belgium. Belgian Linen™ - Flax from Western Europe woven in Belgium. (n.d.). Retrieved October 18, 2022, from https://www.belgianlinen.com
History of kortrijk linen: Story. Vlas blomme. (n.d.). Retrieved October 18, 2022, from https://vlasblomme.jp/en/story/about-kortrijl-line-04
Sustainable DNA. Libeco. (n.d.). Retrieved October 11, 2022, from https://www.libeco.com/en/sustainable-dna
Wikimedia Foundation. (2022, October 17). Linen. Wikipedia. Retrieved October 18, 2022, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linen