We use organic cotton, tencel and linen to make our clothes - materials which wear and wash incredibly well. These fabrics are all made of natural fibres which means that in years to come, when your favourite Palava dress has been loved and worn by you and maybe a few others, it’ll not litter the planet.

Organic Cotton

Cotton is the stalwart trooper of the fabric world. Classic, comfortable, breathable and natural, it’s got a lot of things going for it and we love the structure and feel it gives to our dresses. We also use it for all of our deliciously soft cardigans.

The cotton story isn’t all rosy though. Today, conventionally cotton growing uses a crazy 16% of the world’s insecticides and this is having a very negative impact on soil fertility and the surrounding ecosystems. At Palava, we decided to start using organic cotton 4 years ago. Growing organically is a lot less damaging to the soil and no chemicals are used on the crops.

Being organic doesn’t solve everything though. One of the current debates surrounding cotton production surrounds the consumption of water. Cotton is a thirsty crop and the trouble starts when inefficient irrigation diverts water from nearby rivers and lakes. This can have a devastating effect on the surrounding ecosystem. Certified organic cotton requires commitments to limit water consumption - which is a big step in the right direction - but we still have a way to go before we can claim that Organic cotton has no negative impact on the environment.


Tencel is big news in the world of textiles. It is one of the most environmentally responsible fabrics available and we are really excited to be making 50% of our dresses from it. Tencel is made from sustainably sourced wood pulp and is breathable, biodegradable, wears really well and retains colour amazingly.

Our Tencel skirts and dresses feel quite different from our cotton dresses - Tencel is drapey and soft and silky to touch - much like the beautiful rayon that was used in the 1940s. Tencel is produced in a ‘closed loop system’ where 99% of the chemicals used in the production process are recovered and recycled. The base material for tencel comes from eucalyptus trees - which grow happily in harsh, dry conditions (no need for irrigation) and are very resilient (so don’t require pesticides to thrive).

All in all, Tencel is a bit of a wonder-fabric.


Linen is made from the fibres of the flax plant and is one of the oldest textiles in the world. It is renowned for being cool and comfortable and we love using it for our trousers and summer dresses. The linen we use is grown in Lithuania.