Green Clothes

Everyone looks better in green clothes!

Why we love the Big O: Organic Cotton!

No, I’m not talking about Oprah!  Although, we love her too!

You probably already know that cotton is most widely used crop in the worldwide textiles industry. Among the largest producers of cotton are China, the United States, India, and Turkey. However, along with the increasing demand for this crop come many heavy environmental consequences. A huge portion of these eco problems arise from the farming and harvesting of cotton as well as the manufacturing of cotton fabrics. In line with these growing global concerns, a healthier and greener alternative to clothing is making waves today – organic cotton!

What is organic cotton, anyway? If you have heard about organic veggies and meats at your local grocery store, then the same environmental principle applies with organic cotton. It has been a reported trend that farms today are going “green” with their agricultural practices, and in a way, giving the environment a break from all the toxins it’s been taking in over the years. Organic cotton is farmed in the most ecological way, without the use of harmful pesticides, genetically modified varieties, or synthetic chemical fertilizers.

Why should people opt to go “green” and choose organic cotton? Because cotton is a very in-demand crop worldwide, there is a huge dependency for farmers to use newer irrigation methods, diesel fueled machinery, as well as unnatural chemicals, herbicides, and pesticides to keep their cotton crops growing. Even in the tilling method for cotton farming, a significant percentage of land is eroded into the water systems, as reported by the Journal of Environmental Quality. The loss of soils poses a huge problem for many ecosystems. In Australia, environmental reports also mention that the massive amounts of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers used in cotton farms contribute highly to greenhouse gases. With the farming of organic cotton, however, these issues are avoided.

Organic cotton farms do not use artificial irrigation systems, and their crops are rain-fed. This greatly aids the efforts to conserve water, as well as reduces the risk of chemical leaching from irrigation systems to rivers and lakes. Also, organic cotton is harvested by hand, thereby removing the need for heavy machinery that use petroleum and that emit tons of carbon dioxide.

Another plus side of organic cotton is the issue of health safety. Since these fibers are all-natural, they are the best choice for baby’s clothing. As a matter of fact, even the farmers who work with organic cotton are kept away from health risks, as they are not exposed to toxic chemicals and noxious gases in their work place. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating here: The cotton needed to make just one regular (non-organic) cotton t-shirt requires almost 5 ounces of carcinogenic pesticides! That’s what you’re putting on your kids’ backs each morning!

There are alternatives now. There are many shops that sell organic cotton shirts, pants, linens, and other products. Some people would admit that the emerging fashion trends of today are leaning towards the “green” side. This can be seen from major global brand names promoting organic cotton such as Nike, Nordstrom, Wal-Mart, Patagonia, Marks and Spencer and many more. Reports claim that the demand for organic cotton is expected to drastically increase over the next few years. One can only begin to imagine how good this will be for the “green” movement.

So you see, cotton can do more than just be a soft material that feels good when worn. All around the world, massive environmental efforts in terms of farming for cotton and other crops are underway. Organic cotton, and green clothing will not only make you look good, but will also make the earth feel good, too. When you make a move to support organic cotton, you also give the environment more room to breathe, today, and for many generations to come. That, probably, is the best thing about wearing “green”!

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5 Sustainable Clothing Trends in Fabrics

The terms ‘sustainable clothing’ and ‘organic clothing’ are often used together and both essentially belong to the same genre of eco-friendly clothing materials. Although, they serve the same purpose and can be broadly classified as Green eco-fashion materials there are a few minor difference between the two. The difference doesn’t lie in their approach to the concept of being green or eco-friendly but their origins.

While organic clothing evolved from the movement of organically developed materials, sustainable clothing is more of an environmental consciousness that is slowly gaining momentum. Sustainable clothing also emphasizes upon the recycling of goods in our daily use. Essentials for a clothing material to be considered suited for ecological purposes, i.e. being sustainable:

  • Clothing material is derived from renewable/recycled raw materials
  • Efficient use of production resources such as energy, manpower and water with preference for using renewable inputs for manufacturing
  • Creating absolutely safe clothing material with regards to consumer health and the environment

Some Of The Most Noteworthy Materials Used In Sustainable Clothing

1. Bamboo

Bamboo is best suited for clothing meant for the hotter temperatures. It can absorb the sweat and lets it evaporate within seconds. This creates a natural mechanism of dispelling heat and maintaining fabric breathability. New fabrics being created from bamboo are equally adept for keeping you warmer in colder conditions. Bamboo-created clothing is naturally anti-bacterial and odor free.

How is it sustainable?

  • Bamboo grows without any artificial assistance, i.e. it is totally natural and sustainable as it doesn’t need pesticides and fertilizers
  • Bamboo plant is not uprooted like other plants. This helps to maintain the soil’s stability.
  • Bamboo yield in terms of per acre is nearly 10 times more than that for cotton
  • More bamboo plantations will mean more neutralization of greenhouse gases

2. Lyocell

This is produced from the cellulose found in wood. This makes Lyocell one of the purest forms of sustainable clothing. The fabric adheres to all quality demands meant for medical or technical compatibility.

How is it sustainable?

  • Its production is extremely eco-friendly and doesn’t use harmful dyes and chemicals and the Lyocell fiber is 100% bio-degradable
  • The end product is strikingly similar to cotton and hence, this makes it a very useful substitute for current manufacturing demands
  • Since, it is derived from wood, it can be regarded as the most replenishable and hence, the most sustainable form of clothing
  • Cellulose extraction uses nearly negligible artificially-produced extraction agents

3. Hemp

It is famous for being the most durable among all natural fibers and is often called the miracle fiber. It is lightweight, long-lasting, highly-absorbent and much stronger than other fibers. It is best suited for outdoor wear being weather resistant.

How is it sustainable?

  • Hemp crop does not need pesticides and uses a very little amount of water
  • It is known for enriching the soil where it is grown since it has an exhaustive root system which also helps to prevent soil-erosion
  • Extremely cost-effective to grow and has minimal agricultural requirements

4. Soy Fiber

Soy blended or pure soy fiber clothing has some excellent qualities like having a luster that is similar to silk and absorbs moisture like cotton. However, it offers the best of ventilation when compared with these two conventional fabrics.

How is it sustainable?

  • Its manufacturing is an example of bioengineering and proteins are extracted from sources like soybean oil and soymilk
  • This makes it a recycled product, since it is akin to creating something useful from a conventional manufacturing process
  • It is highly sustainable since by-products like soybean dregs are further used as fodder or natural fertilizer

5. Organic Cotton

Organic cotton is a huge improvement over the traditionally-grown cotton. For starters, it is grown following strict regulations that prevent the use of chemicals that can enter the fiber. Even its harvesting is less automated to ensure that the soil isn’t being drained. Perhaps, the only natural resource it does drain to a certain extent is water.

How is it sustainable?

  • Organic cotton is grown in a manner that actually replenishes the ecosystem rather than exhausting its nutrients
  • It is grown without using conventional chemical/toxic pesticides or synthetic fertilizers
  • Only certified or organic facilities are allowed to procure/manufacture organic clothing and they use only low-impact dyes or mineral-based shades that don’t affect the consumers or the environment

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Pamela Anderson Looks even Better in Green Clothes!

We are all aware of the numerous environmental initiatives being undertaken at the international, national, industrial and individual levels each day. But most of us tend to think that a green lifestyle is limited to the consumption of energy and the release of Carbon emissions. Well, look around and you’ll be able to identify many more significant aspects to green living, one popular facet among them being the use of green clothing.

I admit that Green clothing isn’t really the latest trend, at least not in circles where new fashions come out every season.  But it has been catching on quickly, made popular among the masses by the rich and the famous – yes, our very own “celebrities”. So Who cares what they are doing! Right? Well I do! And not for the reasons you may think. The fact is, as a society, at large, we watch them to see what they’re wearing what they’re doing and what they’re involved in and whenever possible try to imitate them. They even exert an influence on our outlook and way of thinking. Smart as they are, they’re aware of their own power and often use it to highlight important issues and advocating green clothing seems to be the latest focus area. So even I don’t personally care what some stranger in Beverly Hills is wearing to the market this morning, I DO care (and am thrilled, frankly) that many youngsters will go to great lengths to emulate their newfound passion for all that is green – including green clothes!

Take for example Pamela Anderson, the babe from Baywatch, already known to be a strong supporter of PETA, who has lately disclosed plans to work with renowned fashion designer Richie Rich to come up with a clothes line for the brand Muse. This line will focus on casual clothes including skirts, hooded tops and swimwear, apart from accessories like leather-free shoes which are all slated for a summer debut.

But Pammie isn’t the first one to do this. Bono, the lead singer of the US band U2, known for his involvement in many social responsibility initiatives has now formed a threesome with his wife and designer Rogan Gregory to create a brand called Edun - which is the word ‘Nude’ spelled backwards. They have promised to create green clothes by hiring family run businesses in South America and Africa and ensuring that better standards of labor practices are involved, indirectly making it clear that they are against clothes manufactured in sweatshops.

Other well known designers working hard to spread the Green fashion message include Oscar de la Renta and Diane von Furstenburg who were noted for sending eco-designs down the runway during the New York Olympus Fashion Week last fall. Noted designer and daughter of Sir Paul McCartney, Stella McCartney is also known for espousing the cause whom we mentioned here last week.

The second Eco Stiletto Green Girl’s Night Out held on the 17th of March, 2009, also saw a host of TV celebs out to give a hand to the green cause (Eco Stiletto is a company that’s into providing green fashion and features celebrities that support the cause).

Wearing new designer labels isn’t the only way to go green though. Buying and wearing ‘Vintage’ (read second-hand clothes), is also a great way to reduce the amount of cloth going into landfills. Actress, Jessica Alba , was heard praising this way of going green at the AMNH dance held on 27 March.

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Green Clothes for Your Babies!

OK.  Let’s face it.  As green as we try to be personally, sometimes we get sucked in by “OMG, I know it’s just ordinary cotton, but it’s amazing therefore I MUST have it!” kinda spell.  Then we wear it with a mild inflection of shame, knowing we look fabulous and hoping that somehow that will assuage the guilt of donning that which we know is neither good for the health of our own bodies or the environment.  BUT… when it comes to our kiddos, Katy bar the door!  “No pesticide infused fiber will grace the back of MY child!” since of course, we already all know about the carcinogenic properties therein.

So today, I’m going to bring you a few articles and stores that I found interesting and inspiring.  They offer what we don’t yet offer here at Greenclothes.org.  But even if we did, heck, it’s only fair that we share the love with our fellow greenies!  Enjoy!

  • Creating a Non-toxic Nursery For Your Baby | Focus Organic.com – Newborns spend a large portion of their early life in their nursery, so keeping it as healthy as possible is an important task. Creating a non-toxic environment for your baby can help to reduce their exposure to chemicals. …
  • Brown bag lunches your kids will eat!- The first edition of this post was so popular last year, and is still bringing me search traffic (hi Googlers! Welcome to MomCooks!) that I am reposting the recipes along with some new information. Ever since my oldest son started …
  • organic, eco-friendly diaper cakes – weird title? yes, i know. i was clicking around etsy yesterday when i found this really strange, really cool product: organic diaper cakes created by etsy user babydaysdiapercakes. talk about an interesting find! …
  • eco-friendly swimwear – summer is coming and it’s time to start thinking swim suits. if you’ve been getting in shape over the winter (or even if you haven’t!) a nice swimsuit can be a treat. head to the beach this summer in eco-conscious swimwear and you’ll …

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Versace and Armani party with Patagonia and Bono???

In the fashion conscious world, more and more people want clothing and accessories that are green or green related. From organic cotton to hemp and everything in between, more fashion designers are using more and more “green” materials. Legendary names such as Oscar de la Renta are creating new earth-friendly lines as well as Giorgio Armani, which is expanding its eco friendly clothing collection. Diane Von Furstenberg is another line that has sustainable fashions for sale. Oftentimes, not only is it more environmentally ethical, but organic clothing tends to hold up better and is better constructed.

Although somewhat more obscure, Proenza Schouler is another name to be reckoned with on the list of eco friendly designers. When talking about eco fashions, let’s not forget the behemoth Versace, whose clothing material Ingeo created by Cargill is used by other designers as well. Victoria’s Secret is getting into the action with their organic wireless bras and panties. And while we’re on on the topic of lingerie, if you are looking for high end organic clothing, look no further than the Edun line created by U2’s Bono. This company is very strict as to what their guidelines for organic clothing are and from where they accept their organic product.

Linda Loudermilk is a Los Angeles based designer that only uses fabrics such as bamboo, sea weed, soy and organic cotton in her designs. From suits to shifts and denims, she has a style all her own. Nike is also involved in the green clothing line. Stella McCartney, whom we mentioned earlier this week, is also a big name designer who uses eco friendly materials in order to create her clothing line. Other designers that are included in the eco line are Anna Cohen, Phillip Lim and Patagonia. While Patagonia is seldom heard in the same sentence as Bono or Versace, this is one arena where they all truly come together in an effort to provide their oh-so-diverse markets with a product has in common their passion for quality and concern for our environment. Patagonia has a HUGE footprint in the “outdoor” clothing market for both men and women.

So, hopping back to a lesser known play, we still must mention Elroy Apparel which is a designer of women’s clothing that is created with socially and sustainable materials. From dresses to blazers and coats, each of these items is eco friendly and organic for not only the best fit, but also not needing to worry about harmful chemicals or dies. John Patrick Organic is yet another on the list of big names that are going green and eco friendly. More and more people are seeking out this type of clothing due to many different reasons. Concern for the natural resources of the earth, wanting garments that are vegan and cruelty free, concerned about pesticides are just some of the reasons.

More and more big names are either introducing or expanding their eco friendly lines as demand grows for this particular kind of product. With more and more consumers becoming more eco friendly, the demand is growing for product of this sort. The names listed above and more from big high couture designers to unknown and fledgling designers are looking at how to make their lines more eco friendly with sustainable resources, and using other materials in order to create a line of very green clothes.   As demand grows, more and more lines from Armani to Target and everything in between will start selling and creating eco friendly line.

So join the fun. Paint YOUR closet Green! (And next thing you know, you may have something to talk about next time you run into Bono !!)

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Booming Brands

 

OK, so if you have read a fashion mag in the past 5 years or past 5 days, you know that one of the fastest growing sectors in the industry is “eco-fashion”.We like to keep it simple here and just call them “green clothes”, because frankly, everyone has a different definition.But in any event, while you’ve probably picked a few personal favorites, it’s possible that you’ve missed out on a few of those that got lost wandering among the herds in the world organic clothing. One of our goals here is to keep you posted when we see one we think you might be interested in.

The following are some of our favorite ones we chose to feature today:

1. Stella McCartney:While you know the name, and probably know that her collections have been animal-friendly since she began in 1997, you may not have known that she now has an Organic line as well.Her current collection features both dressy and casual pieces, constructed of both organic cotton and organic hemp.Her wares can be found in any of her 11 stores, including flagships in New York, London, Paris and LA as well as 600 other stores in over 50 countries.

We like: In 2007, McCartney introduced “CARE”, the first luxury organic skincare line, containing 100% organic active ingredients.

2. howies:  A family brand, selling one of the most comfortable green couture, howies is a UK-based Company, started with 4 Tshirts in 1995. While the company acknowledges that their clothing might seem to be over priced at the first glance, if the customer calculates their value on sustainability terms, it would prove its worth. We definitely recommend heading on over to their website for a fun read about their beliefs and their history.

We like:howies pledges to give 1% of their turnover or 10% of pre-tax profits (whichever is greater) to grass-root environmental and social projects.

3. Levis Eco : Huh?When all the big league players started jumping onto the green band wagon, how could the master of jeans stay behind? Yes we are talking about that Levis. They came into the industry with their certified organic cotton denim in the Fall of 2006 and how!With their outstanding collection, they proved themselves once again to be the toughest competitors in their league.

We like: Earth-friendly elements include the use of recycled buttons, rivets and zippers, and natural indigo was used to dye some styles of jeans. All external packaging will be made from organic fabric or recycled paper and printed with soy-based ink.

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Spreading the news – other great eco fashion blogs.

I hope you like what we’re doing here so far at Green Clothes.  But there are a lot of other awesome eco-fashion sites out there that we want to share with you as well.  So I went on a search to find what I think are a few interesting posts I thot you may enjoy:

 

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Soy, soy soft!

Since I love clothes almost as much as I love our beautiful earth, I’ve long been frustrated that I’ve not been able to find attractive and comfortable clothing that is also ethical and sustainable. I am all about celebrating the love of living green – even in our closets! I’m excited about the latest fabrics being used to paint your closet green, so I want to tell the world!

Okay, so I like me a little soy sauce, soy milk and edamame. I even like the occasional soy burger. But who would guess that my latest soy passion is my soybean SWEATER!? Before you create images of tofu cardigans, let me tell you why I’ve left behind my old love, cashmere, for my new love, soy!

In the first place, there are no humiliated, bald, Kashmir goats running around anywhere devouring precious crops to support my addiction. Soy has for over 5,000 years been a healthy and sustainable crop used in the production of consumables such as food and drugs, valued as an affordable source of oil and protein. But recently (relatively speaking) some clever chap figured out to take the spent fibers that remained as “waste” after the production of milk and tofu, and spin it into a fabulous fiber that can be woven into sensuous fabric with the elegant luster and drape of silk! I’ve gotta meet this guy!

Woven soy fabrics have a soft smooth hand, comparable to that of a silk and cashmere blend. And they are stronger than wool, cotton and silk. It is the only natural fiber that is resistant to both fungus and moths! I’ll save a fortune from moth destruction alone! Soy is more fade resistant, pill resistant, wrinkle resistant, shrink resistant than cotton and silk. It absorbs moisture like cotton, yet vents even better, not to mention that it is anti-bacterial while providing great UV protection. What better fabric for outdoor-wear can you imagine. And those precious little goats get to keep their winter coats!

So even if you aren’t on the Sierra Club‘s mailing list and never plan to be, you still have to try out this amazing new fabric because everyone looks better wearing Green Clothes!

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Welcome to Greenclothes.org!

We’re excited to welcome you to the inaugural post of our new website, Greenclothes.org.  Our objective here is to provide the last news and information for all of you who care about the earth the way we do here at Green Clothes.  In addition to providing fun and informative reading, we will also be providing some unique,  creative and good-looking eco-fashion clothing for you and yours.

While we may not always agree on what exactly constitutes earth-friendly, ethical, sustainable and responsible, we will always strive to provide wholesome and beautiful options for you in an effort to do our small part to preserve our wonderful resources.

Because after all, everyone looks better in green!

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