We've already got biodegradable shoes and bikinis, but how about just regular ol' shirts and pants? Well, while existing natural materials such as cotton and wool will biodegrade under the right conditions, Zurich-based clothing manufacturer Freitag is producing clothing made from fabric that's specifically designed for quick and easy composting.
Known as F-abric, the material is made from a blend of flex and hemp fibers, along with modal fibers (a type of rayon) made by spinning cellulose obtained from beech trees. Additionally, a special weaving process contributes to the textile's ability to readily disintegrate once composted, as does the use of wood pulp-based Tencel yarn for sewing the sheets of F-abric together.
In order to keep its carbon footprint low, the company has also made a point of using all-European growers and manufacturers.
The end result is a line of clothing that will reportedly biodegrade completely within about three months, once placed in a compost heap. Needless to say, in order to maintain your green credibility (and to get your money's worth), you'd want to wear and mend the heck out of the stuff before getting to that point. The buttons aren't biodegradable, but are designed to be unscrewed from the clothing for reuse.
F-abric was originally conceived as a type of workwear for Freitag employees. The product line now consists of men's pants, men's and women's shirts, and a bib dress. They should be available in the company's stores in Europe, as of Oct. 31st. There's currently no word on price, although they likely won't be cheap.