"Organic Clothes: Trendy Hype or Sustainable Fashion?" - Written by Sarah Outlaw (Co-Owner of 90210 Organics) for Natural Life 101.com
Organic Clothes: Trendy Hype or Sustainable Fashion?
By Sarah Outlaw
The fashion world is going “green”. Designers are launching new and exciting clothing lines made from organic cotton, bamboo, soybean lycra, hemp, and low impact dyes. Why organic? Why the hype?
Cotton farming is one of the most chemical-dependent industries in the world and contributes to water and air pollution. In order to make a t-shirt from conventionally grown cotton, one-third of a pound of chemical pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and fertilizers are used. The environmental impact of this high demand crop is devastating. According to the World Health Organization, 20,000 deaths occur each year in developing countries due to pesticide poisoning. Most of these deaths are associated with cotton farming.
Organic cotton growers use sustainable methods to keep this necessary fiber at its purest. Compost is used to fertilize in place of chemical fertilizers. Farmers manage pests by planting crops that naturally repel them.
In the countries that still harvest cotton by hand; those who pick the cotton are not exposed to the toxins that conventional cotton is grown with. It is safer and healthier for all involved in the growing, harvesting, and ultimately the wearing process. The chemical residues from conventional cotton end up on your clothes and can even be absorbed into your skin.
Cotton is not the only fiber going “green”. Bamboo is fast becoming a fabric of choice because of the sustainability of the bamboo itself. Bamboo can grow up to four feet in a day and completely regenerates after cutting. It also has antimicrobial properties and helps keep moisture away from the body when made into clothing. If you have ever felt bamboo once it has been woven into a fabric you know how incredibly soft it is. There has been some controversy over the process which turns bamboo into a textile but the fact of the
matter is, bamboo is a renewable resource.
Hemp also makes wonderful, eco-friendly clothing. Don’t worry; there are no drug properties in the hemp that is used for fabric-making. Hemp is not as soft as organic cotton or bamboo but it is still very nice to wear. It is a fast-growing crop which makes it more sustainable and it grows fairly easily. It is extremely durable, versatile and even makes great bags and backpacks.
Choosing sustainable fabrics is a wise choice for everyone and for the environment. Now that people are becoming more eco-conscious and the demand is higher for organic and sustainable fabrics, they are becoming more and more affordable. You can find a t-shirt for $20 and baby clothes are very reasonable. Of course, there are always higher end lines, but no matter what your budget, you can find what you need.
Another benefit is that many organic clothing manufacturers give back a percentage of their profits to help environmental causes. Though difficult to find in local stores, organic clothing has found its niche online.
Many online retailers ( www.90210Organics.com for example ) offer a variety of eco-friendly clothes to eager shoppers. Be sure to look for the Fair Trade label because child labor and poor working conditions negate any company’s claim to sustainability.
The next time you go shopping for clothes, consider the impact that your purchase makes on the environment, your health and the health of your family. Make small changes where you can and seek out online manufacturers and retailers that provide you with eco-friendly choices. Organic and sustainable fashion is one trend that will never go out of style.
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