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Synthetic fibre vs. natural fibre: Where are the differences?

Posted on December 30 2019

NIKIN uses both synthetic and natural fibres in its products. Why did we choose this mixture and what are the advantages and disadvantages of the different materials?

 Herstellung mit Kunstfasern

Our goal is to find the perfect balance between sustainability and affordability. To achieve this, we are always looking for the most suitable materials for our products. We have high demands on our producers and their fabrics. For example, it is essential for us that the material is vegan. Natural fibres that come from animals, such as sheep's wool, are therefore not an option for us.

The advantages of synthetic fibres

We use natural materials in our products as often as possible. However, there are products that are not (yet) made from natural fibres and still meet our requirements. Our reasons for using synthetic fibres are manifold, we have listed some of them for you:

  • Synthetic fibres are durable. We consider it unsustainable to manufacture products from natural fibres that become unwearable after just a few washes. We want our customers to enjoy their products for as long as possible.
  • Synthetic fibres are warmer than cotton, for example. Our Treeanies are made of synthetic fibres - apart from the recycled version. This is partly because a winter hat has to keep the ears warm, which synthetic fibres do much better than cotton, for example.
  • We have carried out various experiments with natural fibres. However, some products only meet our qualitative requirements if we make them from synthetic fibres. A product that is made of natural materials but does not have the desired quality will not be included in our catalogue.
  • It is very important to us that our products are manufactured in Europe. However, many European manufacturers are still trapped in outdated patterns of thinking. Sustainability is less important to them. This makes it all the more difficult for us to find a producer who makes high-quality, affordable products from natural fibres in Europe.
  • Synthetic fibres can be dyed with little effort. This gives us more flexibility with regard to our stock. This is one of our measures to minimize overstocking. We believe it is not sustainable to produce in large quantities and then let products gather dust in the warehouse..

Co-founder and head of the product team Robin explains in the video what our Treeanies are made of and what demands on materials he and his team have.


Where does our path lead to?

Our product team is constantly searching for even better solutions. They also stay on the ball when it comes to sustainable, affordable and natural materials. The textile industry is one of the dirtiest businesses in the world. It is therefore incredibly difficult to find sustainable and European manufacturers for our products. But Robin and his team are not giving up. They want to make the products even more sustainable and even more natural - and always in a way that keeps them affordable.


What can you contribute?

You decide yourself which definition of sustainability you apply. Is durability particularly important to you? Don't you want synthetic fibres in your products? Do you appreciate European production sites? Everyone is free to interpret sustainability differently. But what we would like to recommend to you: NIKIN is not about the individual tree, but about the big movement. We try to get as many people as possible to rethink. We are sure that in this way we can all have a big effect and give something back to nature.


Washing of synthetic fibres

Garments with synthetic fibres release microplastics into the water with every wash cycle. So if you wash synthetic products, we recommend the  Guppyfriend. It filters out microplastics. Take care not to wash your products too often and not too hot. Often it is enough to air the product.


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