The Ultimate Guide to Organic Clothing


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Many people don’t worry about where their clothes come from or how they impact the environment. They don’t realize that most clothing items are made from plant fibers that have been radiated, genetically modified, or treated with synthetic or chemical pesticides. As you can imagine, those processes are tough on the environment. Thankfully, there is an alternative: organic clothing.

Clothes made from all-natural materials are part of the organic agricultural movement, which focuses on farming and processing methods that have as little impact on the air, soil, and water as possible. Make the switch to organic clothing and invest in the future of our planet by reducing your impact on the environment. How can you get started?

How to Identify Organic Clothing

In order to be considered organic, an item must comply with the USDA’s national standards. However, when it comes to clothing, not all organic options are created equal. The USDA only needs to approve the fibers used to make the clothing, not the product as a whole. So, it’s important to know what to look for when shopping for organic clothes.

• Agricultural certifications, such as those from the Organic Trade Association, let you know that the fibers of a piece of clothing were organically grown.
• Textile certifications from organizations like Oeko-Tex are proof that a particular clothing product or fabric was made in an sustainable fashion
• A Global Organic Textile Standards certification accounts for every step of the process, from the field to the finished product.

While you’re shopping, keep an eye out for these certifications. At the very least, watch for key terms like “low-impact dyes” or “no chemical finishes.”

You’ll have many different materials to choose from when it comes to organic clothing, each of them offering a unique set of sustainable benefits.

Bamboo Clothing

Clothing made from bamboo is growing in popularity as more people look for ways to reduce their impact on the environment. The plant itself needs very little water to grow quickly and can be farmed without pesticides, making it one of the best organic clothing options in terms of eco-friendliness.

Bamboo clothing is good for you, too. It’s surprisingly smooth, almost like silk, and doesn’t generate static. Microgaps allow for better moisture absorption and ventilation than cotton, and bamboo’s natural anti-bacterial properties mean less sweat and body odor.

Hemp Clothing

Hemp is also a popular choice for many organic products, including clothing items, since it grows easily without the help of pesticides and requires little water to flourish. With each growing cycle, hemp renews the soil around it, and the plant’s long roots stave off erosion. Plus, no part of the hemp plant is wasted since the seeds are used in oils and foods and the stalks are used for fiber.

Hemp fibers are sturdy, so clothes made from hemp are durable and long-lasting. Hemp’s sturdiness means that clothing tends to feel stiff, but the fibers can be combined with cotton or silk to make the material softer. Like bamboo, hemp clothing is breathable and absorbent as well as lightweight and mold-resistant, making it perfect for outdoor wear.

Organic Cotton Clothing

Organic cotton is the most common option for guilt-free fabric, having doubled in demand in recent years. Cotton crops account for around 25 percent of the world’s insecticide use and 10 percent of the pesticides, so organic cotton farms that avoid using these chemicals significantly reduce the earth’s exposure to them.
A wardrobe made up of organic clothes is just as stylish as one created with other products, so making the switch is easier than you think. All of these organic clothing options minimize exposure to harmful toxins in addition to helping create a more sustainable future for our planet.

Resources:
http://lifestyle.howstuffworks.com/crafts/sewing/organic-clothing3.htm
http://life.gaiam.com/article/organic-clothing-can-you-read-between-lines-tag
http://www.naturalclothingcompany.com/bamboo_clothing
http://eartheasy.com/wear_hemp_clothing.htm
http://www.motherearthnews.com/nature-and-environment/organic-cotton-benefits.aspx#axzz3M6G5SOHb
http://thegreenlivingcenter.com/node/137