Dress for the Planet

27 Oct

We’ve had a full month of learning about fabrics, care instructions, clothing swaps and thrift stores.  However, if you still need to buy new clothing, you will be happy to know that there are fair trade and earth friendly alternatives available.

“With Fair Trade Clothing there is a peace of mind that everyone was rewarded for their skills and no large faceless corporation has taken advantage of either the environment or other people and their families. Fair Trade is the future of business and fits right in with our efforts to minimise the impact we have on our precious earth.”  (taken from fairtradeclothing.org)

As we learned earlier this month – we can purchase items made with earth friendly materials.

Mindy Pennybacker offers a quick reference list to remember when checking lables in clothing stores (taken from “Do One Green Thing”)

Choose it:
1.       Certified organic cotton
2.       Recycled cotton
3.       Recycled polyester, made from used garments
4.       Recycled polyester, made from recycled beverage bottles, including Ecospun fleece
5.       Recycled wool
6.       Hemp
7.       Linen
8.       Ahimsa/Peace silk
9.       Bamboo

Lose it:
1.       Acrylic: made from petroleum
2.       Conventional cotton: grown with toxic synthetic pesticides and fertilizers made from fossil fuels
3.       Conventional silk: silk worms are fed steroids to produce more
4.       Nylon: mae from petroleum
5.       PVC (Polyvinyl chloride, vinyl): its manufacture from petroleum and chlorine releases cancer-causing dioxins that get into our food
6.       Rayon (viscose, acetate): made from wood pulp, so there are deforestation issues; its processing releases harmful pollutants

The idea behind these choices is that organic cultivation doesn’t use chemicals and pesticides that contaminate water, soil and food crops while having a bigger overall damaging eco footprint in their over- use of water and fossil-fuel based chemicals.

Check the lables before bringing your item to the cash register!

As global awareness of the real price of fashion grows, many consumers as well as some clothing manufacturers are leading the push for more eco- and worker-friendly apparel.  See World Watch for many more links and ideas of where to shop.  Or browse through websites that do the sifting work for you.  One my new favorites is Ethical Ocean.

Check it out for a list of retailers and keep these lables in mind to search for when shopping:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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