Green Clothes

Everyone looks better in green clothes!

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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