Wednesday, May 30, 2007

What does Sustainable mean anyways? Sustainable Clothing Production Information.

The dictionary defines Sustainability as "the attempt to provide the best outcomes for both human and natural environments both now and in the indefinite future." The Brundtland Commission defines sustainable development as development that, "meets the needs of the present with out compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

In basic terms, what does this mean when used in Sustainable Clothing Production? It means that ever effort is made from the fiber to finished product to ensure the least harmful and most natural materials are used. Also using the least energy possible to produce and distribute the clothing. Starting at the fiber, using natural, easily renewable fibers like bamboo help lessen the amount of land and energy used. Using organic cotton instead of regular cotton prevents chemicals from getting into the surrounding natural and human environments. Using fibers found closest to the end retail location also cuts down on energy consumption.

The milling process of turning the organic fiber into a sustainable clothing item is also important. What chemicals are used to process the fiber? Some bamboo fabrics are processed heavily with chemical before they are finished. Natural color organic cotton and hemp is best because little processing is needed to make the finished fabric. What are the dyes used? Are they the least harmful kind or even natural dyes? Again mills located close to the where the clothing will end up are best for less energy use.

The next level of production is the cutting and sewing of the sustainable clothing. Local is best, when items are made locally it is using less energy in transport. It is also great to shop local for from a community sustainability perspective. Shopping from a local reputable source also insures that fair labour practices are being used. Shipping is the final rung on the sustainable clothing ladder. Shipping less equals less energy and less environment damage.

All of these things add up to what it takes to make organic, sustainable clothing. When a company pays attention to what it takes out of the world to make its product it makes all of our futures brighter and more secure.


Saturday, April 28, 2007

What Makes Organic Clothing Organic? Information on Organic Cotton Certification.

Organic this and organic that is all the buzz these days, but what exactly makes clothing organic? Salts Organic Clothing is made with certified Organic Cotton, not regular cotton. Many Bamboo, Soy, Tencel and Hemp fabric blends are made with regular cotton, not organic cotton. Certified organic fabrics are certified by several governing bodies depending on where they are from. It all starts with the fiber that makes the organic fabric. Salts Organic fabrics are certified by the Control Union World Group formally called SKAL. Some state and governmental bodies also have their own certifying bodies that certify Organic Cotton from their area. Certification processes and procedures may vary depending on the certifying organization, but the underlying values are the same. The organization IFOAM, International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement is currently in the process of Defining Organic Agriculture in less than 300 words that will encompass all the objectives of organic farming.

The CUWG or SKAL can certify the fiber or the yarn. All organic land used to grow organic cotton must be treated organically for 3 years in order to be certified. To be treated organically the field must not be sprayed with any pesticides, herbicides or synthetic fertilizers. Crop rotation, manure fertilizer and other earth friendly farming techniques are used instead. Organic Cotton for organic clothing is now grown in 18 countries but still only fills .01% of the total cotton market in the world. According to 2001 statistics the largest producers of organic cotton was the United States, India, Turkey and Peru.

Simply put, organic clothing is made from fabrics that were made from yarns that were made from Fibers that were grown on certified organic fields. These fields are gentle on the environment which has advantages to humans and nature alike. Many small farming villages have faced health struggles due to chemical use on cotton fields. Nature can only dilute and disperse so much chemical until it will begin to affect us all. We will all begin to notice these chemicals it in our food and water supplies eventually. Buying Organic Clothing is one way that you can be gentle on the earth.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

How to Care for Eco-Friendly Fabrics? This is How to Wash and Care for your Organic Cotton, Bamboo, Hemp and Soy Clothing.

Don't be afraid of sustainable fabrics! They feel great, silky and are terrific to wear but they also wash like a dream. Here are some tips on caring for Salts Organic's Sustainable styles!

Bamboo: Bamboo rayon is a really hearty fabric, it has a silky feel but you can wash and dry it like cotton. It even lasts better than cotton. We recommend on our Bamboo rayon garments that you cold wash on regular or delicate and hang dry (uses less power). If you are in a time crunch you can always throw it in the dryer though with no worries! At Salts we mix the bamboo rayon with organic cotton so you have the properties of cotton and bamboo. This makes for a great easy care item. Enjoy.

Soy: Soy is a bit more delicate than bamboo rayon. It is also mixed with organic cotton at Salts. We recommend a cold water wash and tumble dry (again hang dry to save power and $). Spot treat any stains as needed, but make sure you test your stain treatment on an area that won't show if the color gets bleached. Bamboo, Organic Cotton and Soy all can be ironed freely. Our Soy Bella Wrap Hoodie is shown above in Natural color.

Organic Cotton: Organic Cotton, is....well...Cotton. You can wash, dry and iron like you would with normal cotton. Cotton always shows wear and tear if you apply a lot of heat to it, so go easy on hot dryers.

Hemp: Hemp is the heartiest fabric of them all. Hemp actually looks and feels better the more you wash and dry it! It softens up over time like your favorite jeans. So do what ever you want to it. Wash, Dry, hang dry and press, whatever suits your fancy.

Dress Pure. Salts.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Salts Organic Clothing has new retail outlets for Spring 2007!

Its going to be a great summer. Salts Organic Clothing has added several new retail outlets for Spring 2007. The new stores are Fiber Options in Tofino and Victoria, Sweet Somethings on Galiano Island and Organix on Granville Island in Vancouver. Make sure you check out these stores for the latest Salts line.

Salts is also headed to the One of A Kind Show in Toronto on March 28th to April 1/2007. This is a huge show with artisans from all over the country. There are some amazing products being offered. Check it out.


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Whats all this about Soybean Fabric? 4 Interesting Facts on Soy!

Cotton is the worlds most used fiber, though commonly touted as all natural it is the most sprayed crop on Earth! In the US alone 80 million pounds of chemicals are used each year on conventional crops. One pound of cotton fiber has been sprayed with 1 1/4 pounds of chemicals by the time it is done and 7 of the top 15 pesticides used have been labeled a probable carcinogens to humans by the EPA. Whats the solution? Alternative fibers are sustainable and don't need the chemicals to grow effectively. Soy Protein Fiber also has a number of great additional properties of for the wearer and the environment. Soy is a renewable resource and the Soy Protein Fiber (SPF) is made using the by product of the soybean industry.

1. Soy Protein Fiber has antibacterial and UV radiation prevention properties.

2. SPF has great moisture absorption so you always feel dry and fresh.

3. Soy Fiber promotes the micro circulation of the blood capillaries and also contains many amino acids necessary to the human body. By touching the skin the fabric activates the collagen in the skin.

4. Soy Protein Fiber has a beautiful silky look and a nice cashmere feel. Nothing feels better than that!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Spring Salts Organic Preview 2007!

Heres a preview of Spring 2007, coming to stores in April. This is our 100% Organic Cotton Bella wrap hoodies shown in a short sleeve design. Underneath is a the Today's the Day Tube top in Bamboo Fabric and Tencel (pine tree) fabric. These will be available for online shopping as well as at our retailers in the Spring. Check back at the Salts Organic Clothing website often for updates.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Why Organic Cotton?

Salts Organic Clothing uses on certified organic cotton. We also use sustainable fabrics like bamboo, soy and hemp. As Shelter Apparel we used regular cotton, it was hard to find organic cotton in the beautiful fabrics that we can find it in now. We have changed the name and began to use all organic and sustain ables because it is way easier on the environment of course. We also use it because the fabric feels amazing and has many great properties.

Each T-shirt made with 100% organic cotton saves 1/3 a pound of synthetic fertilizers and farm chemicals from entering the ecosystems. By ecosystems I mean the water you drink, the surf you surf and all the life you see outside your window. Cotton is also used as a food for cattle (the seed and fiber) and cottonseed oil is an ingredient in many processed foods. But because it attracts weeds and pests and is not considered a food in regular terms farmers load it up with toxic chemicals. Cotton is one of the most grown crops in the world so the effects from this are significant.

Conventionally grown cotton accounts for 2% of the farmland world wide. It is responsible for 10% of the worlds pesticide use and 25% of the worlds insecticide use. The crops are sprayed from above affecting near by streams, farm houses and people. In contrast organic cotton uses beneficial bugs and manure in place of the chemicals. Organic Cotton also uses crop rotation methods, hand-weeding and cover crops as methods to ensure good crops. To use a field as organic the field must be free of chemical for 3 years. The cotton is processed according to acceptable standards.

These are some of the reasons that Salts has chosen to go Organic!

Salts Organic Clothing

Monday, January 8, 2007

With a new name comes a new blog!

Shelter Apparel has been reborn as Salts Organic! To celebrate we have started a new blog. This blog will be about all things organic and stylish. The Salts Organic Clothing spring line is a mixture of organic cotton, bamboo, soy and hemp denim perfect for folks that want to do their part and look good. Salts is looking forward to being in a bunch of great stores this spring, including Ht Naturals, Fiber Options and Not Just Pretty. Look for us everywhere!

Thanks for all the supporters of Shelter Apparel, I am sure you will like Salts Organic much more.