Green Clothes

Everyone looks better in green clothes!

Why Is Eco-Fashion Important / Why Do We Believe In Sustainable Clothing?

Apr-20-2012
Green Clothes

Since ages, fashion has been one of the most important factors of every civilization. People have devoted their lives to set a new trend and making others look good — or you may say “style in a better way”. It’s a race that everyone wants to win.

A parallel race, supported by many other groups, is for saving the environment. You switch on the TV and you’ll find whole channels dedicated to fashion and environment, both fighting for their own separate causes.

Yet their paths often cross when environmentalists accuse the fashion industry to be absolutely cruel towards the environment (which isn’t entirely untrue, by the way)

Some thought that life without changing fashion trends is no life at all, while ditching the planet can be translated as death to all on the longer run. What good would fashion serve on a dead planet???? The realization of the fact gave birth to the concept of eco-fashion, also known to be sustainable clothing.

It is also called “fashion with a conscious” by some trend setters. Eco-fashion is very important on many levels. The concept tends to change the entire production process affecting several lives throughout.

The concept of eco-fashion is based on the three R’s of recycling and the three Legs of sustainability; reduce, reuse, recycle and economics, ecology, (social) equity, that is everything needed to make the planet and the society a better place to live.

Reviewing the general fashion industry, numerous harmful chemicals are used for making synthetic fiber, dying, bleaching, etc. Even the natural cotton is poisoned with tons of chemicals. Those chemicals are disposed of improperly hence polluting the rivers (and other water sources) and air.

The chemicals also affect the sustainability of clothes. Therefore they are discarded sooner than later. Most of them cannot be even reused due to their worn out condition.

Secondly, the working class in fashion industry (or any other, as a matter of fact) isn’t often paid that well in most of the countries. The working conditions are also unbearable; long hours, no considerable protection against the harmful chemicals used for production, persistent ailments and the list can go on forever.

Eco-fashion changes all of it. The process starts from the core; that is the production of organic cotton. The yield is grown using all the organic means. No insecticides and pesticides, use of organic fertilizers and a lot of hard work.

Cotton naturally comes in different colours. The typical shades are red, yellow, mauve and orange. If naturally coloured organic cotton is used, use of dyes and bleaching agents is discouraged, having a positive impact on pollution control.

Sustainability of clothes is also increased manifold. Clothing becomes more durable because of the absence of chemicals (natural colours do not fade away that easily), can be fairly reused and ultimately recycled.

The yield of organic cotton is lesser however the profit margins are good as the cost of productions is not that high and also because eco-fashion believes in fair trade.

Eco-fashion stake holders that obtain organic cotton make sure that the farmers get rewarded for their efforts and stay above the poverty line by all means.

Imply the ethical code throughout the eco-fashion production process that is procurement of raw material, transporting it to the factories, manufacturing, distribution and finally the sale; the society moves towards economical growth and stability.

The purchasing power of the entire working class involved improves, increasing the demand of many products. With an increased demand, the production process in those sectors would flourish, generating further investment and employment for more which will in turn improve their purchasing power —- and the cycle goes on.

With the economic prosperity and social equity, the society can rid itself of many evils leaving the people to excel and prosper.

Fashion is something that people will never let go of. All the better if it is eco friendly and creates stronger social bonds rather than creating hatred and inferiority complexes.

It is a huge industry; being flourished worldwide and can play a very important role for saving the planet in many different ways. Eco-fashion gives you sustainable clothing, a healthier environment and a prosperous growing economy. Is there anything else you can ask from people “who can style you in a better way”????

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Eco-Friendly Fabrics

So what determines the environmental friendliness or eco-friendly materials and substances are the current buzzwords of today? Everyone is looking for materials that are not harmful to Mother Nature rather on the contrary they are complementing to the nature. In the past, the only basis of selection for our clothing was either style or price but now there is an addition to this criterion as well. Environmental friendliness has also been integrated into the criterion of cloth selection and that is the primary reason why eco-friendly fabrics are gaining prominence every day. Eco-friendly fabrics have been there for quite some time but it is now, due to increased environmental awareness, that everyone is taking interest in them.

Apart from the hue and cry raised by the environmentalists and the awareness created for saving Mother-Nature there is the factor that these eco-friendly fabrics are also better for the health of the user than using the ordinary clothes that we wear ordinarily every day. The reason for eco-friendly fabrics being better for ordinary everyday user’s health is that they are not taken from polluted sources. All eco-friendly fabrics are grown or manufactured in a very environment friendly manner which includes the condition that there is no use made of harmful chemicals like pesticides.  Why does this matter?  Intensive scientific testing has proven that the human body actually absorbs the residual chemicals from the fibers that are woven into clothing!

Some of the eco-friendly fabrics available for your better choices today are:

•  Organic cotton
•  Hemp
•  Bamboo
•  Soy (Wha?!  Yes, Soy.  See our other articles about soy.)

To make sure that the eco-friendly fabrics are really eco-friendly and not bogus claims, there are strict measures that the producers and manufacturer of such fabrics have to follow. First of all, the criterion is to use no chemicals or pesticides on your crops if you are using naturally grown material for your fabric. This constitutes to “organic”  designation.  If you are not using natural crops to make eco-friendly fabrics you should use completely biodegradable material with no harmful chemicals used in dying or other processes of fabric formation. If the material is not biodegradable it must completely obtained from recycled resources.  This is what is referred to as “sustainable” material.

The checks and balances are not only reserved for the manufacturing and pre-manufacturing part but even small things such as transportation of these materials from the country of origin to the country of consumption or processing is also brought into consideration when awarding the title of eco-friendly fabrics to any fabric. Hence, the criterion covers every aspect from plant growth to the transportation of these materials and the product that satisfies each of these standards is then titled as eco-friendly fabric.

Eco-friendly fabrics are undoubtedly better both for the consumer directly and the environment that we live in but there is one downside to these eco-friendly fabrics as well. This down side is the extra price that such materials cost to you. Growing crops such as cotton and jute without using pesticides is costly. Similarly, replacing chemicals in dying and manufacturing process makes the production of the final product more expensive than ordinary. And lastly the transportation criterion for eco-friendly fabrics also contributes in raising the cost quite a bit. This is the reason why all such eco-friendly products cost so much more than ordinary products, and eco-friendly fabrics is no exception. This limits the affordability of such materials only to the well off people.

While not every piece of fabric can lay claim to all of different “green” criteria of being sustainable,  organic or fair trade, they are all positive steps in the right direction of dressing in harmony with Earth.

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