Green Clothes

Everyone looks better in green clothes!

Why we love the Big O: Organic Cotton!

Apr-14-2009
Eco Fabrics

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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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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