Wooden T Shirt
The first t shirt to be built from wood. And coloured with wood.
- Printed with black ink made from wood waste
- Material made from pulped eucalyptus and seaweed
- Four way stretch from 100% compostable stretch fibre
The Wooden T Shirt is not the first time we’ve turned to nature to make our clothing. Having already worked with algae, nettles, blueberries, turnips and raw hemp, wood was always going to be on our list. Each t shirt is printed with the cleanest black pigment on Earth made from wood waste – a carbon negative ink that’s been in R&D for 20 years and is now safe enough to be buried in a vegetable garden.
The t shirt isn’t just printed with wood, it’s made from it too. We’ve combined eucalyptus wood pulp sourced from sustainably managed forests with seaweed from Iceland’s North Atlantic Fjords. Naturally the Wooden T Shirt doesn’t feel wooden to wear. It’s soft and comfortable, with a great weight, and wears just like a regular t shirt.
How we make black wood ink
Our Wooden T Shirt isn’t just made from wood. It’s even printed with wood to give its colour. Each t shirt is printed with the cleanest black pigment on Earth made from wood waste. We worked with Californian start-up Nature Coatings who turn wood waste from sustainably managed FSC-certified forests into ink. They take by-products from the lumber, paper and flooring industries and turn them into a high-performing pigment.
Our wood ink comes from renewable sources
50 million tonnes of wood waste is created in the US alone every year. Instead of chucking it into landfill, leaving it on the side of the road to release carbon into the atmosphere, or burning it in a smokestack, we’ve used a 100% natural process to transform it into a high-performing black pigment.
Turning wood into ink took 20 years of R&D
Established using a grant from the US National Science Foundation, our friends in California spent 20 years in R&D to get to the point where they can make a scalable carbon negative product that’s “safe enough to be buried in a vegetable garden,” in their words.
The t shirt is made from wood too. And a little bit of seaweed
The Wooden T Shirt isn’t just printed with wood, it’s made from it too. 75% of the Wooden T Shirt is made from eucalyptus wood pulp that’s sourced from sustainably managed forests. We’ve combined this with a type of brown algae or seaweed known as ‘Knotted Wrack,’ that grows in Iceland’s North Atlantic Fjords. By only cutting off the top of the seaweed we leave the rest to quickly regenerate and regrow.
We added the world’s first 100% compostable stretch fibre
We’ve also blended the pulped eucalyptus and seaweed with a small amount of the world’s first 100% compostable stretch fibre. While the traditional elastane that’s found in most clothing can take up to 200 years to biodegrade, this compostable stretch fibre biodegrades within 6 months, and without releasing any toxins.
We’ve gone from nettles, blueberries, and algae… to wood
The Wooden T Shirt is not the first time we’ve turned to nature to make our clothing. Since we released our first Plant and Algae T Shirt in 2019, we’ve produced shirts made with nettles, blueberries and turnips, t shirts with the world’s first black algae dye, and hoodies and sweatpants created from totally raw hemp.
Built with carbon capture technology
Once the t shirt has been built and printed, the black wood ink continues to lock in the carbon dioxide that it absorbed when it was alive. And it will do this for 100 years. So the t shirt you’re wearing is storing carbon emissions. This is known as carbon capture technology and it means rather than producing emissions, the Wooden T Shirt does the exact opposite.
Why we’re looking for new ways to make black clothes
The colour black is everywhere. From our phones to our cars to the ink in our pens. But black has a dark side. Every black thing you own is likely to contain carbon black – a pigment derived from petroleum. The way carbon black is made isn’t sustainable. Vast tracts of land called tar sands are stripped of all life and vegetation to extract the heavy petroleum, while the production process creates significant greenhouse gases.
What is carbon black?
Unless you’ve spent your life on a desert island with no clothes and no possessions, you’ll run into carbon black every day. It’s in the ink in your black pen, your black phone case, and the tyres on your car. Carbon black is the pigment that’s used to make black things black. But we don’t question where it comes from because very few people know it’s even there.
Making the colour black hasn’t changed in 100 years
The way carbon black is made hasn’t really changed for over a century. At mass scale the process begins with a fossil fuel like heavy petroleum which is fed into an industrial furnace and allowed to partly combust. This creates a black powder that looks a bit like soot. And this is carbon black. It’s then used to colour everything from inks, to plastics, to rubber, and you’ll find it everywhere on the planet.
Why we’re looking for alternatives to carbon black
There are lots of problems associated with carbon black. The manufacturing process creates greenhouse gasses which are released into the atmosphere. And the heavy petroleum needed to make it comes from places known as oil sands, or tar sands. These are barren areas of our planet that are stripped of all vegetation so that oil can be extracted from the ground. And as ecosystems are eroded more carbon is emitted.
Sustainability has been going backwards, until now
Plant and natural dyes on the other hand have been around for millennia – used by everyone from the Aztecs and the Navajo, and even found in King Tut’s tomb. The synthetic dye boom only began 167 years ago when an 18-year-old chemist named William Henry Perkin was experimenting with coal tar and accidentally invented purple dye. Despite our impressions of Victorian London looking grim and depressing in black-and-white photographs, London dandies developed a severe case of the ‘mauve measles,’ demanding new, colourful clothing, and the petrochemical dye boom was born.
Size + Fit
The Wooden T Shirt is designed with a regular fit.
|83 - 90
|91 - 98
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