Today’s blog posting is inspired by Lainie’s weekend purchase: A green organic cotton dress for her mother ?
And then I just happened to stumble upon an article that ran in the New York Times on December 13, 2007 entitled “A World Consumed by Guilt” all about green fashion.
So now that green fashion is “in,” and companies are eager to cash in on it, how do we make decisions about what’s really green and what’s not?
After some research, I found the materials used in sustainable clothing most often are organic cotton, bamboo, hemp, and recycled polyester. Unfortunately, bamboo and hemp are tough materials that need to be softened with chemicals. Though post-consumer materials like recycled polyester are always great because we aren’t growing new materials when they already exist. Overall, designers really seem to be trying to use sustainable fabrics, though some consumers are already cynical. Especially since besides the textiles, we have to be concerned with the entire process through which the clothing is made. That means everything from how the material is grown, to who is making it and how. But the situation seems optimistic because the impression I get is that designers actually do believe in the cause, and with consumer pressure, the innovations and technology will eventually follow.
Apparently, the most green we can get when it comes to fashion is by not shopping at all. Wearing the clothes we already own, chemicals and all is really the best for the environment. I’d like to think that our other option is to shop at Buffalo Exchange or the Salvation Army. Used clothing needs TLC too.
Another interesting resource I found on the Earth Pledge website: Fashion Quarterly article from Summer, 2006.