Who Says Your Clothes Are Eco-Friendly? That Depends


With 55 million pounds of pesticides sprayed on clothes yearly, the EPA considers seven of the top 15 of these pesticides used on cotton in the United States as “possible,” “likely,” “probable,” or “known” to cause cancer in humans.

Thanks to various agencies safeguarding what we wear, “Eco-Friendly” clothing is being subjected to many production standards much like the green building industry from organizations like the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), the International Market for Sustainable Apparel (registry required) and the Organic Trade Association.

Which organization do you trust to set the standard for accountability? The jury’s still out.

One thing we know is that as the green movement proves it’s not just a trend, designers, buyers and shoppers will want proof of purchase so they can put their own green towards sustainable lines – and not feel so gullible. Until we have one standard to go by here are a few things you can do:

PhotobucketDo your homework. Many times we just accept that an item is organic without doing some research. A garment can be organic but still have a large carbon footprint.

PhotobucketLearn about different eco-fabrics that are available. Organic cotton and wool, tencel, soy and modal are some of the more popular choices.

PhotobucketEmail the designers. Realize there are many ways designers can up the ante on eco-conscious production methods by recycling and using alternative energy at their design houses, implementing fair-trade practices and using natural dyes. Many of these eco-friendly designers are accessible through their websites.

PhotobucketBuy locally-sourced. Support your local designers and artists who use less fuel to get their goods to local stores. Not only will you help to sustain a small business, you’ll feel better knowing exactly where your goods came from.

Now that you have all this helpful information, what do you plan on doing with it?

Editor’s note: Please welcome our new fashion writer, Amy DuFault. You can learn about Amy here.

Image: ontwerpplus

Amy DuFault

Amy DuFault is a conscious lifestyle writer, consultant and fashion instigator. She resides in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.