We’ve touched on organic food, skin care, cleaning supplies, toothpaste, supplements…now let’s talk clothes!
What Makes Clothing Organic?
People are generally not aware that most clothing items, while being processed, are treated with toxic chemicals. Items such as dry-fit shirts and other clothing with anti-wrinkle features are given even more of these chemicals.
In order to carry an organic label, clothing and home textiles must be made from materials raised or grown in compliance with the same standards as apply to all organic products. Namely, they are farmed without the use of synthetic chemicals. Soil quality, pests, diseases and other issues which arise in farming are managed by natural methods.
Materials used may include:
- Jute (a vegetable fiber)
- Ramie (from nettle plant)
- Linen (from flax plant)
- Tencel (obtained from wood pulp)
- Organic recycled fibers
*Synthetic fibers, such as acrylic, polyester, rayon, acetate, and nylon, are big no-nos in the world of organic clothing!
Organic Natural Clothing is Fashionable But Pricy
In the past, organic meant that garments were baggy (from lack of strength and stretchiness that many synthetic fibers have) and their colors were dull and had a tendency to fade. However, as interest in clothing produced by organic means grew in the early 21st century, manufacturers began improving their techniques. As a result, many organic garments are now durable, long-lasting, ecologically friendly and fashionable. They come in a variety of styles, from workout (i.e. yoga pants) to red carpet wear.
However, organic production is more expensive than other farming methods. Also, many organic producers are concerned with issues such as animal treatment and worker welfare. As a result, the procedures they follow to ensure ethical integrity often mean a higher price tag.
Who Would Benefit From Organic Clothing?
As long as you don’t mind paying a little more, really anyone would benefit from organic clothing since it’s chemical-free and each purchase supports organic farms (and their reduced pollution methods). Someone with eczema or any other skin allergy would especially do well to avoid chemicals and synthetic fabrics which don’t “breathe” and are known to irritate sensitive skin. Since 10%- 20% of infants will develop eczema (though most will outgrow it by their tenth birthday) and the same chemicals are used on conventional baby clothes, parents may be drawn to organic baby clothing. Finally, the ethical standards of many organic producers make these clothes appealing to vegans and vegetarians or anyone wanting to avoid supporting “sweatshops”. With all these benefits and price being the only possible con, organic clothing is a purchase worth considering.