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Green is the New Black

For all you fashionistas out there... listen up! Sustainable, organic and fair trade fabrics are IN. Sweat shops, pesticides, and toxic materials are OUT.

With the green craze that has taken us all by storm, even the famously fickle world of fashion has jumped on the bandwagon. Designers are starting to source their fabrics with more care and produce their clothes in a more responsible way. Yay!! This is so exciting! I have now resolved to try to gradually build a green wardrobe and there are really exciting options out there. Two of my personal favorites are Linda Loudermilk and Stewart Brown, both of whom have taught me that fabrics made of bamboo, organic cotton, sustainable silk, hemp, jute, corn, and seaweed can be just as soft and luxurious as the mainstream fabrics we are all used to. And there are an increasing variety of other options out there as well, many of which are outlined in the Green Guide to Fashion Fundamentals.

So why is this emerging green fashion trend so important? There are a lot of reasons and cotton is one of them. Check out some of these scary facts of cotton production from the Sustainable Cotton Project:

  • Cotton uses about 25% of the world's insecticide and more than 10% of the pesticides (including insecticides, fungicides, miticides, herbicides, defoliants, and growth regulators).
  • In the United States, 25% of all pesticides used are applied to cotton.
  • In the United States, it takes about a third of a pound of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides to grow enough cotton for a T-shirt.
  • In California, five of the top nine pesticides used on cotton are cancer-causing chemicals (cyanazine, dicofol, naled, propargite, and trifluralin).
  • All of the top nine cotton pesticides in California are labeled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as Category I or Category II materials, the most toxic classifications.
  • In India, 91% of male cotton farm workers regularly exposed to pesticides eight hours or more per day experience some type of health disorder, including chromosomal aberrations, cell death, and cell decay.
  • Cotton fibers account for almost 50% of the textile market worldwide.
  • Globally, nearly 90 million acres of cotton are grown in more that 70 countries. The United States is the second largest cotton producer in the world, growing approximately 19 million bales worth $6 billion in 1997 (enough to make approximately 9,215,000,000 T-shirts).
  • As much as two-thirds of a cotton crop can creep into the food chain. Each year, half a million tons of cottonseed oil make their way into salad dressings, baked goods, and snack foods; another three million tons of raw cottonseed are fed to beef and dairy cattle.

We can't avoid wearing cotton but we can choose ORGANIC cotton and other sustainable fabrics for a greener wardrobe and a greener planet. For more tips on how to make your wardrobe more eco-friendly, visit Anca's latest blog.

Are you in??

t_greenblk.jpg Green is the New Black T Shirt

available from Perfect Organics.