Clothing Solutions: Part 3

Here are those clothing solutions I promised.

First, you can go dumpster diving and get those usable garments that whatever person threw away instead of doing the generous thing and giving them to to someone else. I go dumpster diving as I need stuff and since I don’t often need new clothes, then I find myself at a disadvantage  here. I assume that clothes would send their extra clothes back to their warehouse, but after studying others experiences, I have found that that may not always be true. I would say now that the best place to go would be actual stores. Writing this article has giving me motivation to go and try my hypothesis myself and I shall have my conclusion by the end of the week.

The second thing you can do is to thrift shopping. This I have done and I can say that you can find something excellent finds if you look.

For those who are unwilling to either then the below are so options for you. You can by your things from companies who are doing the right thing or buy fabrics who will have less of an impact on the earth’s health.

Some companies have taken the road less traveled.

The International Standards Organization (ISO) has defined eco-fashions as “identifying the general environmental performance of a product within a product group based on its whole life-cycle in order to contribute to improvements in key environmental measures and to support sustainable consumption patterns.”

One approach has been to use sustainably grown cotton, hemp, bamboo, and other fiber crops that require less pesticides, irrigation, and other inputs. Organic cotton is grown in at least 12 countries. Organic cotton only represents .03 percent of cotton sales.

Another approach is the use of polymers created from plant-based materials. One such material trademarked by Cargill, Ingeo, is made of corn by-products that are fermented and transformed into polylactide. This polymer is spun into fibers and woven into fabrics that, under strictly managed circumstances, could be composted (polylactide, marketed under the name NatureWorks PLA, is also fashioned into wraps, rigid food and beverage containers, coated papers and boards, and other packaging applications). Versace is one of the haute couture designer clothing firms that have used Ingeo in their collections

Other retailers large and small are taking different steps to appeal to the environmentally conscious consumer. Tesco, the largest British retailer, has commissioned a study by Oxford University toward developing a Sustainable Consumption Institute to establish a system to label every product sold by Tesco on the basis of its carbon emission footprint.

Eco-friendly fabrics generally have the following characteristics:

  • Minimum use of chemicals and pesticides
  • Best land manangement practices
  • Sustainable farming practices
  • Eco-friendly certification (i.e. EU-Eco label certification)
  • Animal friendly
  • Production adheres to fair trade practices

Here’s a list of eco-friendly fibers to look out for and also I’ve added a link where you learn more about them. Next time you’re shopping for clothes, look out for clothes that are made from the following fibers (or other eco-friendly fibers):

Hemp – An amazing natural fiber. Some say hemp could have 25,000 uses. Hemp provides enormous benefit to the natural environment. This is true when used in products and when growing the hemp plant.

Jute – Similar to hemp, jute is a type of vegetable fiber used for thousands of years, with outstanding potential for the future.

Ingeo – Trademark for a man-made fiber derived from corn.

Calico – Fabric made from unbleached cotton. Also referred to as muslin.

Hessian Cloth – Coarse woven fabric made from jute or hemp.

Organic cotton – Cotton grown organically (without pesticides etc)

Bamboo Fiber – Bamboo fabric is very comfortable and 100% biodegradable.

Lyocell Tencel® – Brand name for a biodegradable fabric made from wood pulp cellulose.

Ramie – Ramie fibers are one of the strongest natural fibers. Ramie can be up to 8 times stronger than cotton, and is even stronger when wet.

Organic Wool – Organic wool is wool that has been produced in a way that is less harmful to the environment than non-organic wool.

Organic Linen – Linen that is made from flax fiber. Could also refer to be linen made from other organically grown plant fibers.

FORTREL EcoSpun – Fiber made from plastic containers that resembles fleece.

Milk Silk – Silk made from milk

Soy Silk – Silk made from soybeans

Nettle fiber – Made from stinging nettle (commonly known as a weed)

Spider-web fabric – Fabric made from spider webs. Still in the experimental stages.

Thanks for reading and good luck!