Organic Fabrics: Fashionably Caring for the Earth
Feb 11, 2016
“Organic” has been all the rage for decades now, but most people associate the term with grocery store items. However, organic is slowly but steadily finding a home in other industries, and fashion is one of them. At one time limited to small, fair-trade shops, organically grown fabrics are now being embraced by stylish companies like Tane Organics (http://www.fyglia.com/collections/tane-organics-baby-sale)to responsibly produce trendy, mainstream fashions.
Children’s fashions are an ideal market for organic clothing due to children’s more porous and sensitive skin. Like other grown products, materials such as cotton are commonly exposed to harsh pesticides and herbicides. In fact, cotton farming uses more than 10% of the world’s pesticides, herbicides and defoliants. These chemicals remain in the fabric and can be transferred to wearers. Children’s skin is more likely to absorb them or become irritated by them.
Organic cotton, on the other hand, lack these chemicals. Instead, techniques such as hand hoeing and the introduction of beneficial insects are used to counter weeds and pests.
Buying organic is also good for the environment. Local water supplies can easily be polluted with run-off tainted by crop chemicals. Remove the pollutants, and you have cleaner water for an entire community.
That’s good not only for people but also the multitude of animals populating the local ecosystem and dependent on its water supply. Organic crops also generate thicker top soil, which combats soil erosion. The organic composition of that soil also limits the need for fertilizers. In addition, farmers use techniques such as crop rotation to keep the soil healthy enough for bountiful crops.
In traditional cotton farming, up to a third of a pound of synthetic fertilizers are used to make a single pound of raw cotton, which is then converted into a single T-shirt. And some of those fertilizers release substantial amounts of greenhouse gases, further poisoning the world environment.
Many organic clothing companies go a step further in their global responsibility by paying a fair wage to workers in developing countries. And they’re certainly offering a safer work environment than conventional cotton fields since they aren’t introducing all those harsh chemicals. But the abuse of your fabrics doesn’t end in the fields. Normally, they’re subjected to additional harsh
chemicals as they’re bleached, dyed, softened, sprayed with fire retardant and more. Organic fabrics use more natural dyes and suffer much more limited processing. The result is a fabric that’s safer, sturdier, longer lasting and supremely comfortable.