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Eco-Friendly Fabrics for All!

06.14.2011

Photo Credit: Charity Kennedy

It’s time for all those super cute dresses to come in season!  However, try on some of these sustainable fashion rules regarding eco-friendly fabrics when shopping this summer.  

Sustainable shopping means that you know the history of a product – how it was made, how it got to the store, etc. – and you have chosen to buy that product because the product history lives up to eco-friendly standards.  These standards include a minimal use of pesticides and chemicals, good land management practices, following fair trade practices.  It also includes an eco-certification from trusted organizations, all of which depend on the product.

When shopping for clothing, look out for these fabrics:

1) Bamboo: a plant that is easy to grow in great quantities without pesticides.  Also, 100% biodegradable if processed correctly.

2) Hemp: it is an extremely versatile fabric, requiring no chemicals to grow.  However, hemp is also more unregulated, making its product history a bit fuzzy.

3) Ingeo: a new fabric made from corn.  Though corn production makes a huge impact on the environment due to water and pesticide usage, creating ingeo takes half the energy it does to create cotton.  And speaking of cotton…

4) Organic cotton: shoppers can probably find this in any store at the mall.  Conventionally grown cotton also has a huge impact on the environment, and the production of fabric from it is even more detrimental.  However, organic cotton can also create a huge impact with chemicals and pesticides used to dye the fabric.  So look for it in natural colors like white, cream, ivory, etc.

There’s more sustainable fabrics out there, so keep an eye out on the net and on those itchy tags on the back of your t-shirts. Learn more here.



Frankie Victoria

written by Frankie Victoria

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A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.
-Greek Proverb