Green Clothes

Everyone looks better in green clothes!

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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Green Clothing Video – LA’s Avita Co-op

Aug-23-2009
Green Stores

Sometimes we like to mix it up a little here at Greenclothes.org because you probably get tired of reading all the time. So this week, we’ve attached a little video that features the L.A. Eco clothing store Avita Co-op. Their focus is on green products made using “fair labor” practices. As far as their inventory is concerned, they define green clothing as those made from sustainable fabrics, such as organic cotton, as well as those made from recycled clothes and fibers.

0 Green Clothing Video   LAs Avita Co op

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5 Sustainable Clothing Trends in Fabrics

Apr-12-2009
Eco 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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Versace and Armani party with Patagonia and Bono???

Apr-1-2009
Green Clothes

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

Mar-30-2009
Green Clothes

 

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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