Our Materials

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Materials

Hemp

A natural fiber from the fast-growing hemp plant, it requires about half as much water as cotton. Hemp is also a “sister plant,” meaning it replenishes the soil for the crops around it and is ideal for crop rotations. As one of the most environmentally friendly sustainably farmed fibers, hemp requires relatively little water and grows quickly. Plus, this key natural resource has over 2,500 purposes and counting. Starting with the Spring 2021 collection, we are offering corded hemp—a fabric that feels luxurious and, much like linen, only gets softer with each wear.

Linen

A natural fiber from the fast-growing flax plant, linen requires fewer resources than other natural fibers (like cotton), including water. Our 100% organic linen styles are made without chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Luxurious and lightweight, linen gets softer with each wear. White + Warren also offers styles in a fabric we call “linen gauze,” which is a blend of linen and Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) certified cotton that is dyed with recycled water.

Peruvian Cotton Modal

A blend of organic cotton, lycra, and modal from Peru. Organic cotton has an extra-long staple that allows for environmentally friendly hand-harvesting. Organic cotton is grown without synthetic chemicals, including pesticides, fertilizers, and plant-growth regulators. Thanks to the touch of lycra, our Peruvian Cotton Modal tees never lose their shape, creating an extended shelf-life that’s similarly more sustainable. Our Peruvian Cotton Modal is made in our factory’s dyeing house, which is committed to the reduction of chemicals in the dyeing process. For example, the dyeing house uses a post-dye water treatment that reduces the percentage of contaminants in the water.

Recycled Bottle Cotton

Our recycled bottle cotton styles are made from a blend or organic cotton and polyester crafted from recycled plastic bottles harvested from the ocean floor. At White + Warren, each recycled bottle cotton sweater represents one to two bottles that have been repurposed. We partner with a skilled Italian mill that processes them into a recycled Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified cotton yarn that’s as soft and luxurious as it is environmentally friendly.

Recycled Cashmere

100% cashmere (not a blend) crafted entirely from upcycled cashmere yarns. Recycled cashmere was first introduced into our fabric list with the Holiday 2017 collection. The yarn came from a family-owned mill in Tuscany, which takes sweaters that would otherwise go to waste, shreds them back into fiber form, and spins them into renewed yarn. White + Warren was the first U.S. brand to use this yarn from our Italian mill. For a behind-the-scenes look at how our recycled cashmere is made, visit our blog.

Sustainable Cotton

A blend of Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) certified cotton woven with COOLMAX® cooling technology. With our sustainable cotton, 60% of the water used to dye the yarn is recycled back into the production process—and all of the chemicals used in the dying process meet strict toxicity and biodegradable criteria.

Traceable Cashmere

Traceable cashmere relies on meticulous record-keeping and full transparency from farm to finished garment. White + Warren is proud to offer the finest quality cashmere that has been controlled at every point in the manufacturing stage. All of our 100% cashmere styles are made entirely from fiber traceable to regions of Inner Mongolia and will always be produced with transparent ethical and environmental practices. We have been working with the same factory since the beginning, and as of 2021, our factory has received two important certifications that are necessary to provide traceable cashmere: The Good Cashmere Standard® and The Sustainability Fibre Alliance. For more information, see the “Certifications” section below—and check out our blog post on Traceable Cashmere.

Processes

Water Conservative Dyeing Methods

One of the more sustainable aspects of cashmere is that it is easy to dye compared to other yarns and fabrics. For example, polyester must be dyed through a complex solution, as it is a hydrophobic material that repels liquid. Cashmere, on the other hand, can be dyed in a simple water dye bath, since it is naturally hydrophilic, meaning it easily absorbs liquids. At White + Warren, we also incorporate water conservative dyeing methods for linen, which uses a natural wash, in most colors, that requires less water than traditional dyeing.

Recycled Water When Dyeing

Our yarns are dyed, spun, and engineered with the environment in mind, ensuring there are no harmful chemicals used in the production process and no pollution leaked into the water or air. Our dyes are certified by industry-wide standards, including OEKO-TEX®, Intertek, and Reach Compliance. Our dyes have a high absorbency, and its effectiveness directly leads to less water and energy consumption. Additionally, 60% of the water used at our factory’s dye houses are recycled back into the production process through a high-powered wastewater treatment plant. All chemicals used meet strict toxicity and biodegradability criteria.

Natural Dyeing

Natural dyes are dyes or colorants derived from plants, invertebrates, or minerals. The majority of natural dyes are vegetable dyes from plant sources—roots, berries, bark, leaves, and wood—and other biological sources such as fungi. These dyes are better for the environment because there are no toxic materials used in the process.

The Good Cashmere Standard®

The Standard was created to improve the welfare of cashmere goats with respect to the Five Freedoms, as defined by the Farm Animal Welfare Council, as well as the economic, social, and ecological conditions experienced by cashmere farmers, their families, and communities in Inner Mongolia. The Standard follows three main principles: promote animal welfare in cashmere production, support cashmere farmers to secure a sustainable source of income, and protect the environment.

Certifications

Better Cotton Initiative (BCI)

The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) is working to make more sustainable cotton available as a commodity. BCI certified cotton is grown using less water, less fertilizer, and fewer pesticides, while also improving the lives of farmers by increasing cotton crop yields.

Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)

Widely recognized as the global standard of sustainable processing for clothing and textiles, this certification covers the processing, manufacturing, packaging, labeling, trading, and distribution of all textiles made from at least 70% certified organic natural fibers. It defines high-level environmental criteria along the entire organic textiles supply chain and requires compliance with social criteria as well.

Global Recycled Standard (GRS)

An international, voluntary standard that sets requirements for third-party certification of recycled input and chain of custody. This certification is for products with recycled content, as GRS supports accurate labeling, innovation in the use of reclaimed materials, supply chain transparency, and better information for consumers. GRS certification can apply to any product that contains at least 20% recycled material and includes environmental, social, and chemical aspects.

The Sustainability Fibre Alliance

Required for traceable cashmere, this promotes the Sustainability Fibre Alliance (SFA) Cashmere Standard—the world’s first holistic sustainability standard for cashmere—to ensure that suppliers are following responsible production practices that minimize environmental impact, safeguard herder livelihoods, and meet high animal welfare standards.

Textile Exchange

A global nonprofit that creates leaders in the preferred fiber and materials industry. The Exchange develops, manages, and promotes a suite of leading industry standards, as well as collects and publishes critical industry data and insights that enable brands and retailers to measure, manage, and track their use of preferred fiber and materials. 

- 2025 Sustainable Cotton Initiative

In 2021, White + Warren entered the 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge, joining other small businesses, like ourselves, as well as mass retailers like Gap and designers like Burberry. Brands submit the cottons that they offer, which are then used for data. In turn, every brand is given a private dashboard to see where it rates against the industry standard. White + Warren will track its place in the industry over the next four years with the option to use the data from the Challenge for marketing purposes.

- 2025 Polyester Initiative

In 2021, White + Warren entered the 2025 Recycled Polyester Challenge. The industry-wide goal of this Challenge is to increase the use of recycled poly (a material that can be found in our recycled bottle cotton styles) from 14% to 45% by the year 2025. White + Warren will track its place in the industry over the next four years with the option to use the data from the Challenge for marketing purposes.

Commitments

Reduce Our Environmental Footprint With Packaging

Our sustainable styles are only as good as the packaging we deliver them in. White + Warren is committed to reducing its environmental footprint through the use of compostable packing materials, recycled hang tags, and more.

- Compostable Poly Bags

In Spring 2020, we began shipping all of our products in compostable poly bags, and that meant that for Spring 2020, we kept 41,000 plastic bags out of landfills. Our poly bags are made with EPI (Environmental Products Inc.) biodegradable plastic; EPI is the proponent and leader of oxo-biodegradable plastic additive technology. The poly bags are also made with TDPA™ technology and therefore, are oxo-biodegradable. Trade regulations require that every item be packed in a bag, but choosing to use compostable bags instead of conventional plastic minimizes the negative impacts associated with standard plastic. Our poly bags will decompose in a landfill much faster than standard plastic and can also be added to a home or industrial compost, where they’ll decompose in a matter of months.

- Dust Bags

Our dust bags are made from raw, unbleached cotton certified by the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI). They are also ideal for storing your cashmere. For more on storing, see the “Cashmere Care” section below or visit our Cashmere Care hub.

- Limited Tissue Paper In Packaging

In 2019, we eliminated tissue paper from packaging whenever possible. While some of our more delicate items are still packaged in tissue paper for necessary protection, by eliminating it everywhere else, we’ve been able to save more than 33,000 sheets of paper (and counting) to date.

- Recycled Paper Hang Tags

Our hang tags are made from 100% recycled paper, which is also biodegradable.

Cashmere Care

Washing

Cashmere has antimicrobial properties, due to the presence of lanolin. It is naturally breathable, wicks moisture, and has an odor-repellent quality, so you can wear it as many as 5 times between washes. In fact, washing too often can cause excessive pilling. Simply air out at least 24 hours after wearing, and before wearing again. The Laundress® Wool & Cashmere Spray is a great way to give your cashmere a quick refresh between washes, therefore conserving water.

When you do wash your cashmere, the number-one recommended method is to hand wash versus dry clean. Use cold water at 30° Celsius or less and a gentle detergent formulated for cashmere or wool. (We recommend The Laundress® Wool & Cashmere Shampoo, although baby shampoo works well, too. We have also tested Tangent GC Organic Sugar Perfumed Cashmere Detergent and loved the results; the garments smelled nice, maintained the soft hand-feel, and did not show any shrinkage or shape distortion after washing.) Do not rub or twist your cashmere when washing, but rather, gently swoosh the garment in a water bath to prevent deforming and excessive pilling. After washing, rinse gently. Finally, lay your garment flat on a clean bath towel and carefully roll the garment in another towel, then press gently to remove excess water before the drying stage. For more on washing, visit our Cashmere Care hub.

De-Pilling

Pilling is normal for any natural fiber, including cashmere. Pills are the fuzzballs that occur on the surface of the garment due to friction. You can easily remove all of the pills and loose fibers by using a cashmere comb or a sweater stone (we love The Laundress® Sweater Stone), a pumice-like stone that glides over the garment without altering the unique surface. The pilling will lessen after removing the fuzz a few times.

Storing

Your cashmere sweater’s fabric is formed by inter-looping stitches, which have a natural tendency to grow. Therefore, proper storage is necessary. First and foremost: Do not hang your sweater to avoid growing (hanging your cashmere can also change shape of the garment over time). Instead, fold the cashmere garment before placing it in a dust bag and store in an airtight bin. The cotton dust bags White + Warren packages its garments in are perfect for storing your cashmere in; they are breathable, do not crash cashmere fibers, and are well-suited for storing in airtight plastic bins.We also offer individual dust bags for storing.. Additionally, folding your cashmere and storing it in a dust bag prevents moth damage. For extra freshness, toss in a sachet of lavender or cedar chips (avoid direct contact with the cashmere), which is nontoxic and a natural moth repellent.