There’s plenty of hype about organic textiles and their sustainability these days, but are they as eco-friendly as we think they are? I decided to look behind the scenes to find out which fabrics and textiles are truly sustainable and eco-friendly?
Global awareness of the real price of clothing is growing and there are increasing numbers of cases of people experiencing health problems such as rashes, allergies, respiratory and concentration problems due to chemical sensitivities. Many have found organic clothing to be helpful in reducing exposure to the vast amount of toxic chemicals we are unknowingly exposed to on a daily basis.
Cotton vs Organic Cotton
Cotton is a wonderful fibre for making clothes, but it is now recognized that conventionally grown cotton causes great harm both to the environment and to cotton industry workers. Its extensive use of pesticides and insecticides can cause ill-health to people that come into contact with the chemicals and widespread pollution by soaking into water tables. Organic cotton is grown without chemicals and therefore does no harm to either environment or workers, but it is more labour intensive and furthermore fields must be free of chemicals for three years before the crop can be certified organic. There have been huge global increases in the demand for organic cotton and the problem now facing farmers is producing enough to meet the demand. LaRhea Pepper of Organic Exchange says, “In order to encourage long term economically sustainable sources of organic fibre we need to be willing to discuss and implement models that acknowledge the value of the product from the farm gate and continuing right down the supply chain.”
Read More »Which textiles are the most eco-friendly?