Linen, the ideal companion in the outdoors

The first thing that comes to mind when you think of linen is summer clothing. This plant-based fabric is best known for its properties associated with warm weather and holiday wardrobes. But this versatile fabric has many more inherent advantages that are helping to write the future of fashion.

Linen for outerwear

A desirable outsider

Le lin idéal pour les vêtements copyright Poetry

In summer, winter and between seasons, in the sun or in the rain, at the office or on the go - the scope of applications for linen clothing is growing. Flax fibre, the origin of linen, is still ranked quite low on the list of most-used textile fibres (less than 1%), but it is taking on the role of a desirable outsider with a host of eco-friendly qualities.

With Western European soil accounting for three-quarters of flax production, it has become one of the best-known and traced textile fibres thanks to the European Flax™ certification. Through low-impact production methods, linen textiles uphold a commitment to social and environmental responsibility.

Flax is grown on rotation, it is GMO-free, no defoliants are used and it does not require irrigation*. Plus 100% of the plant is valued, and it generates zero waste since every part of the plant is used; from the seeds through to any residual dust created during production.

These are pledges that make this plant fibre and fabric a positive choice at a time when the fashion industry is facing up to ways of working that are damaging both people and our planet.

Linen as a partner for outerwear

Linen is increasingly being used as an indispensable ingredient in outdoor clothing and outerwear. We are all familiar with summer shirts and airy dresses, but what about an enveloping coat, a sturdy trench or an adventurous parka?

For these items, linen relies on scientifically proven thermal qualities to create a flexible wardrobe for going out, whether clad in corporate cool or hiking chic. Its balanced ventilation and insulation properties guarantee thermoregulation and help you to maintain a pleasant feeling of warmth without overheating.

There has been a resurgence in outdoor activities, whether nature tours or city excursions, in response to the casual/loungewear wave which hit its peak during the Covid crisis. We aspire to a return to elegance without compromising on the comfort gained. The latest fashion shows have clearly turned the page on hoodies, leggings, and pyjamas, bringing back tailored, well-cut pieces.

Le lin partenaire du vêtement pour toutes les saisons copyright Zygaa

Living and moving outdoors: linen responds

Spending time outside implies a different kind of lifestyle. We can see how important this is from the examples of biking and camping. These two sports markets are undergoing a complete transformation. New requirements are emerging and designers are taking on the challenge. 

  • Commuting by bicycle, known by the not-so-elegant neologism velotaf in French, accounted for 68% of bike trips in Paris, and using bikes for transportation increased by 97% in 2022 (compared with 2019).   
  • Camping is also moving towards lighter activities and adventures that are closer to home. These new forms of travel, mobility, and thriftier trips are inspiring designers and stylists to design lighter clothing, accessories and even furniture. Transportable, compact and playful are the key words. 

Linen is taking its legitimate place in the outdoor sphere by adapting to these new lifestyle directions. Its naturalness, when worn and touched, feels appropriate. 
Even if these outdoor activities are inspired by sports or technical clothing, we are dreaming of fabrics that are less synthetic, more respectful of the environment and more alive. We are looking for renewable materials that acquire a pleasant patina over time instead of wearing out and turning into waste.

New linen: modern, everyday, practical

This is exactly what the Alliance for European Flax-Hemp & Linen sees in the linen fabrics that are on the looms, and about to be knit for the autumn/winter 2023/24 and summer 2024 seasons.

More hybridisation, more cross-fertilisation of expertise that will help push linen towards more contemporary, daily, practical, and sustainable uses. There are winter linens currently in the works, which challenge all of our preconceived ideas; warm, cosy, blended with a touch of wool. And the surprises don’t stop there.

Towards new uses for outdoor living
We are ready to move, to explore cities and the countryside in well-designed linen clothing fit to meet all situations. Elegant, relaxed, warm, eco-friendly: linen can do it all. All you need to do is ask.

*guaranteed by the Alliance for European Flax-Linen & Hemp today. It will be reassessed in the future depending on climate change.

Vêtements en lin pratiques au quotidien copyright Benjamin Benmoyal

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