What’s so special about Nukleus? What makes it different from the other brands?
Three things make us different:
- All our creations are made from the finest eco materials.
Our materials include GOTS certified organic cotton, Tencel and Modal from Lenzing as well as bamboo.
GOTS, or Global Organic Textile Standard, is the world’s leading textile processing standard for organic fibres.
Austria-based Lenzing is the worldwide leader in fibre innovation and the winner of multiple prestigious environmental awards in Europe.
- All our core components are certified Oeko-Tex Standard 100.
Oeko-Tex Standard 100 is the world’s highest standard for human ecological safety. This means our products are hypoallergenic and won’t cause skin irritation. Ultimately, it means our innerwear is great for all skin types and perfect for all-day wear.
- Nukleus is a co-brand partner of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Malaysia.
Part proceeds from the sale of all Nukleus products in Malaysia will be channeled to support WWF-Malaysia’s conservation work. Nukleus also endeavors to adhere to WWF’s Global Sustainability Criteria in all its product development.
The WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations. It doesn’t only care about saving endangered animals. It cares about all life on Earth—human, animal, plant. It’s also strongly committed to building a future in which both people and nature thrive.
What’s great about organic cotton?
Organic cotton has all the same qualities as normal/conventional cotton—it’s soft, it breathes well (that is, it admits air to the skin and allows sweat to evaporate), and it’s easy to maintain. Furthermore, from a holistic health point of view, it has positive “chi”. All these factors make cotton a great underwear material.
There are, however, important differences between organic cotton and normal/conventional cotton.
Consider these facts about normal/conventional cotton:
Conventional farming requires roughly 1/3 pound (151 grams) of pesticides and fertilizers to produce enough cotton for a single T-shirt; and
Conventionally grown cotton consumes approximately 25% of the insecticides and more than 10% of the pesticides used in the world.
We should note that these agrichemicals are synthetic and petroleum-based—anything petroleum-based is not renewable and therefore not sustainable. More importantly, these agrichemicals are poisonous and persistent. Persistent means that these chemicals don’t go away after use. Some will stick to the cotton and these so-called “residual chemicals” can cause skin irritation and are bad for our health. Some will pollute the environment and harm wildlife; and some will end up in our food. In short, normal/conventional cotton is not good for us and the environment.
On the other hand, organic cotton is cotton that is produced and certified according to organic agriculture standards. Organic agricultural practices may vary slightly from country to country but common to all is the prohibition of poisonous and persistent synthetic agrichemicals and genetically modified seeds.
If cotton is to be sold as organic, it requires a third party certification from independent, accredited certification agencies. The organic cotton yarn used by Nukleus is certified by an independent third party called GOTS. GOTS, or Global Organic Textile Standard, is the world’s leading textile processing standard for organic fibres. This means our cotton is genuine and genuinely organic. It also means it contains no residual chemicals and is therefore good for health.
GOTS certified organic cotton is also good for the environment. For one thing, no harmful chemicals were involved in its farming. Here’s another: Organic farming uses less water than conventional farming—around 3,000 cubic meters per acre less, to be precise. Conventionally grown cotton, on the other hand, requires intensive irrigation. If you consider conventional cotton clothing from an end-to-end perspective, you will find that it takes an average of about 11,000 litres of water to produce a pair of blue jeans and 2,700 litres to produce one T-shirt. These big numbers are called “water footprints” and they represent the total amount of freshwater used to produce a product. That is, the amount of water used to grow and harvest the raw cotton, convert the raw cotton into usable cotton, and turn the usable cotton into something wearable.
As you can see, conventional cotton clothing can be bad for health and is environmentally damaging. Clothing made from certified organic cotton, on the other hand, is good for health and very much less damaging in environmental terms.
- What are Tencel and Modal?
- Tencel and Modal may be unfamiliar words or brands, but they’re actually part of the rayon family.
Both Tencel and Modal are famous for their softness. They are also famous for their ability to keep the body cool and dry. These two factors make them popular materials for underwear and basics. Modal’s softness is long-lasting, thanks to its unique surface that resists microscopic deposits; the absence of such deposits prevents fabric hardening. Its colour brilliance also remains intact even after repeated washings. Tencel, on the other hand, is such an amazing material that it deserves its own "answer" (please see the next question for more information).
We acknowledge that rayon is a synthetic or man-made material. But it is derived from plants (i.e. a renewable resource), and many members of the rayon family are biodegradable. More importantly, not all rayon is created equal. Nukleus buys all its Tencel and Modal from Austria’s Lenzing Group. Lenzing is the worldwide leader in fibre innovation and the winner of multiple prestigious environmental awards in Europe, including the European Award for the Environment. As a manufacturer, Lenzing is sustainable in terms of energy use, raw materials and production processes.
(Comparison: Polyester is another popular man-made fabric. There is, however, a huge difference between polyester and rayon. Polyester is derived from petroleum, which is not a renewable resource. Furthermore, most polyesters are not biodegradable.)
What’s amazing about Tencel?
- It’s pure: Tencel is made primarily from pure eucalyptus cellulose.
- It’s soft and smooth: practically no friction with the skin.
- It has superior moisture absorbency: Tencel can absorb up to 50% more moisture than cotton, and it can do so and still remain dry on its surface.
- It is cool: Tencel feels cooler than cotton, due to its higher water content at a given temperature.
- It inhibits bacterial growth naturally: Tencel’s high absorption capacity and rapid moisture absorption rate make it difficult for bacteria to grow, and it does so with no chemical additives whatsoever.
- It inhibits fungal growth: When it’s humid, fungi will grow. The bad news is, dust mites consume fungi. Lab tests have shown that Tencel can inhibit fungal growth. Which means less fungi, fewer dust mites, much lower risk of allergies.
- It has neutral electric properties: this reduces the occurrences of annoying static shock.
As mentioned above, Tencel is made mainly from eucalyptus. These trees can grow on "marginal land," land that can’t be used to produce food. They can also grow very quickly without any genetic engineering. They don't need artificial irrigation, either. Lenzing sources its eucalyptus wood exclusively from sustainable plantations, most of which are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified.
In addition, Lenzing uses a revolutionary process to manufacture Tencel. Known as the close-loop process, it redirects waste products back into production—99.5% of the solvent is recycled—creating almost no waste. Furthermore, the solvent is non-toxic and its safeness has been proven in dermatological and toxicological tests. All in all, the close-loop process reduces the number of steps involved and the amount of chemical used (i.e. fewer chemicals and less harmful chemicals are used). The end result: Lower chemical intensity. Which is good for consumers. And planet Earth.
What is unique about bamboo?
A selected range of Nukleus underwear and basics is made from bamboo fabric. As a clothing material, bamboo has very soft hand feel and great wicking properties. Wicking means drawing away moisture (e.g. sweat) from the skin. Bamboo can do this four times faster than cotton. Bamboo also has great ability to “breathe”. It can admit air to the skin and allow sweat to evaporate, thus improving the comfort factor for wearer. In addition, bamboo can block the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. This is crucial because continued exposure to UV rays can cause skin cancer.
Apart from health-related benefits, bamboo is also a very green clothing material. Firstly, bamboo can grow very fast. It’s the world’s fastest growing plant and can be harvested annually and sustainably after four to five years. Bamboo is also self-regenerating. This means that after the stalk has been cut, it rapidly regrows from the remaining rootstalk. Secondly, bamboo can grow on marginal land and without much water. Thirdly, bamboo has an unrivalled capacity to capture carbon. Some reports suggest that bamboo can sequester 12 tonnes of carbon dioxide (the greenhouse gas) per hectare, 30% more than trees. Fourthly, bamboo can prevent soil erosion, which can ultimately lead to landslides. Bamboo’s elaborate root system is like a net under the soil, holding everything together; so that when it’s pouring, the soil is not washed away.
- Why do we need Oeko-Tex Standard 100?
The Oeko-Tex Standard 100 is like an extra layer of protection for the consumer. This additional layer is necessary because good materials (e.g. GOTS certified organic cotton, Lenzing Modal) aren’t automatically safe—if a factory uses the right material but the wrong manufacturing processes, the end product will still be a bad one.
If a consumer wants to be 100% sure that he or she is buying safe clothing, he or she should look for products with the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 label.
Here are some facts about the Oeko-Tex Standard 100:
It’s overseen by the International Oeko-Tex Association in Switzerland
It’s the world’s highest standard for human ecological safety. What this means is clothing that has been so certified is safe to use. Technically speaking, it means the clothing is hypoallergenic and won’t cause skin irritation.
It achieves the safe-to-wear outcome by strictly prohibiting or severely limiting a long list of chemicals that are detrimental to health and the environment. The chemicals include specific AZO dyes, cancer-causing and/or allergy-causing dyes, formaldehyde, pesticides, and specific heavy metals.
When shopping for safe underwear or basics, the consumer should consider only Oeko-Tex Standard 100 (Class 2) products. Under the Oeko-Tex system, Class 2 is for clothing that has direct contact with the skin, for example, underwear, towels, shirts, and blouses. All Nukleus core components are certified Oeko-Tex Standard 100, Class 2. That means our innerwear is safe for all skin types and perfect for all-day wear.
The bottom line: The Oeko-Tex Standard 100 gives the consumer peace of mind.
- What’s special about the Nukleus eco-boxes?
Boxes are made from paper, and paper comes from trees, and trees are a vital part of the environment. Trees are the lungs of Earth—they produce oxygen and capture carbon dioxide, a culprit in global warming. Because trees are environmentally important, and because trees and paper are closely linked, Nukleus pays close attention to its eco-boxes.
Nukleus uses FSC certified paper for its eco-boxes because this type of paper is sustainable. The FSC, or Forest Stewardship Council, is a globally trusted organization that promotes responsible forest management (e.g. appropriate harvesting rates and techniques, non-chemical methods of pest management, etc.). Many independent individuals and organizations—Greenpeace, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and renowned environmentalist Jared Diamond, among them—have endorsed the FSC.
Besides that, we use vegetable-based ink (i.e. soy ink) to print our boxes. Soy ink has low levels of VOCs (volatile organic compounds). VOCs are unstable compounds that vaporize readily into the air. When they enter the air, they react with other compounds or elements to produce ozone, which causes air pollution and a host of health problems like breathing difficulties, headache, and nausea. Some VOCs have been linked to cancer, kidney damage and liver damage. Soy ink is also sustainable because it is derived from vegetables, which are renewable. In short, soy ink is good for health and the environment.
In addition, Nukleus uses fully recyclable PETE 1 plastic for its box "window."
We also encourage our customers to reuse or recycle the boxes.