Saturday, February 13, 2010

What is eco-fashion?

According to wikipedia, Eco-fashion is "a part of the growing design philosophy and trend of sustainability, the goal of which is to create a system which can be supported indefinitely in terms of environmentalism and social responsibility."
This is true, of course, but let me put it into a simpler sentence for you. Eco-fashion is a way to reduce your carbon footprint, support fair farming techniques, and look groovy! Choosing Eco-fashion does not mean that you have to sacrifice style! Many people associate natural fibres with scratchy, itchy, unshapley, and unattractive. This is deffinatly not the case.
So, what turns a fabulous outfit into an fabulously eco-friendly outfit?

Organic materials:
Choosing an organic material benefits the earth, and the people living on it! Studies are starting to show that the chemicals used in growing cotton may remain in the fabric. These chemicals could be absorbed by the wearer, through sweating. They are not entirely sure what these chemicals will cause, but why take an unnecessary risk?

Sustainable materials:
If a material is not organic, it can still be sustainable. This means that it is made from a plant which can be replanted (and regrown) without harming our environment. For example, bamboo is a still considered to be sustainable if it has been chemically sprayed.

Plant-Based Dyes:
Wonderful organic materials can become less eco-friendly when dyed with synthetic, heavy metal based dyes or dyes otherwise dangerous to the workers who make the clothing, the earth or the wearer. Choosing a product which has been treated with a healthy, plant-based dye means less chemical exposure to our earth.

Free trade practices:
A large difference in eco-friendly fashion is the way that it is manufactured and finally sold. The freetrade practices test will fail companies if the employees making the clothing are not paid a livable wage, or if the working conditions are substandard and hazardous. So some good clothing, made from organic materials, may lose merit for having unfare work regulations.

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