As the world becomes increasingly aware of the environmental and social footprint of the fashion industry, Mia Fratino is strengthening its commitment to sustainable, eco-friendly fibres with the launch of its exclusive 'Etika' Collection. The collection knits sustainable, innovative fibres into timeless, bold pieces that deliver years of wear, well beyond the expiry of cheap ‘fast fashion’ purchases.
Etika, which means ethical in Esperanto, is a bespoke sub-collection with a firm focus on sustainable garment origins. Beyond its classic shapes and bold colours, the collection boasts an exciting new sustainable eco-fibre, ‘Eco Furino’ – a unique combination of ethically sourced Mongolian cashmere, Australian merino wool, NZ brushtail possum down and Mulberry silk.
Mia Fratino is proud to be the first label in the world to introduce a vibrant and playful collection using the new, unique Eco Furino fibre; splashing bold colours across timeless shapes made from this eco-conscious, sustainable fibre.
Mia Fratino knits this unique fibre into lightweight garments of superior warmth and exceptional softness with resistance to pilling. Eco Furino is a 100 per cent natural blend that capitalises on the strengths of each contributing fibre: the breathability of Australian merino wool, the decadence of ethically sourced Mongolian cashmere, the lightweight warmth created by the hollow structure of NZ brushtail possum down fibre, and the strength and softness of Mulberry silk.
The incorporation of possum fibre into Eco Furino is especially exciting due to its unique attributes. Its hollow structure traps the air, creating increased thermal properties without adding weight or bulk or compromising its feathery softness. Compared to cashmere, wool and angora, possum is the lightest fibre but the best insulator – in fact, it is four times warmer than Merino. And, unlike other fibres, it has no ‘scales’, which means it is resistant to pilling.
Eco Furino is a world recognised eco-fibre, aiding in New Zealand’s battle against the devastatingly destructive introduced brush tail possum species. Without any natural predators on the islands, the possum is destroying the forest floor and tree canopy – possums eat between 15,000 and 21,000 tonnes of vegetation in NZ each night, wiping out forests and threatening native species.
Mia Fratino uses a premium quality dehaired possum fibre – produced as a fine undercoat during the harsh winter months – and spins it with Mongolian cashmere, Australian merino and Mulberry silk to create luxurious garments with superior softness and long-wearing lifespan.
Brushtail possums were first introduced into New Zealand from Australia in 1837, in hopes of establishing a fur industry. Unfortunately, however, this introduction has devastated the country’s natural environment.
In their native Australian environment, possums do not pose a threat, but in New Zealand they are considered the country’s major animal pest and biggest ecological threat, with an estimated population of more than 70 million (twice the country’s sheep population). They are legally classified as a pest animal.
Possum damage is severe, with the ability to destroy entire forests by defoliation within 20 years. Native bird populations suffer heavily; their food source of flowers, berries or nectar is wiped out by the defoliation. Possums are also omnivores, known to consume the eggs and chicks of endangered native bird species, and often attacking adult birds in the nest to reach the chicks and eggs. Through this destruction, possums have significantly contributed towards several species of native birds registering on the endangered list. They also prey on rare NZ native invertebrates, such as weta and land snails.
Every purchase of an exclusive Etika collection piece, made from this luxurious noble yarn, contributes to the restoration of native vegetation and the repair of habitat loss caused by the brushtail possum in New Zealand.