WE GOT YOU COVERED: SUSTAINABLE CLOTHING
The summer is finally here, the sky is blue and clear, etc., etc., poetry is definitely not my thing, but, you know, no one is perfect, myself at the very least My strength is logical thinking, as most of you have probably noticed; it doesn`t exactly take a college degree to notice how often I go with “It`s only logical”, does it now, hoho. That being said, it`s only logical to explore the subject of eco clothing today. Why? Well, in the last few post I told you about safe cosmetics, which, when you think about it, is for our first layer of protection, the skin; after taken care of it, we should go further and think about the second one, the clothes we put on. You see, pure logic!:)
So, what does dressing organic means, actually? Clothing should be made of materials grown in compliance with organic agricultural standards and fabrics may be made of cotton, jute, silk, ramie, wool. Of course it is a bit more expensive than ordinary clothing as its production costs more – using non GMO seeds and raising free from harmful herbicides and pesticides and, fertilizers and other synthetic agro-chemicals harmful to the lands is not as cheap as doing it the conventional method, hurting both the environment and ourselves. This harm is done not only in the growing process, when pesticides and herbicides enter the environment. Just think how often you decide this or that piece of your shiny wardrobe is not needed anymore; quite often that happens, does it not? And after harming you by soaking chemicals into your skin, long after you have forgotten all about it, it goes on causing more harm, as pesticides and herbicides are returned to the earth in landfill or enter into recycling process.
The most widely used clothing fiber is, of course, cotton, because of its excellent absorbency, durability, and intrinsic softness, it accounts for over 50% of all clothing produced worldwide.Ever thought how much cotton it takes to make a simple t-shirt? I`ll tell you, just under one pound of raw cotton. And how much synthetic fertilizers it takes to grow one pound of raw cotton? Almost a 1/3 pound. You do the math. Yes, no other major crop takes this much of the world`s insecticides; as a whole, the US cotton production makes up 25% of all pesticides deployed in the United States and numbers show that cotton covers 2,5% of all cultivated lands and uses 16% of all insecticides. Furthermore, the cotton hulls contain the most potent insecticide residues. But of course it`s not just the growing, processing adds on big time. Cotton is not naturally white; it is light brown, so manufacturers bleach it with numerous chemicals and heavy metal dyes. Formaldehyde is most commonly used in the process, how you like the thought of that touching your beautiful self? I sure don`t.
In an attempt to reduce the use of harmful pesticides and herbicides, GMO cotton plants have been produced, resistant to pest infestations; among them inserted with the Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) gene. It is considered to not require insecticide application, but it sounds too good to be true. And in fact some members of a bollworm species turned out to be Bt resistant in some crop areas of Mississippi and Arkansas during 2003 and 2006. Indian farmers very quick discovered the sad truth – BT cotton requires even more pesticides than organic cotton suffers higher levels of infestation by Mealybug. This results in huge crops losses thus leading to terribly high levels of stress for the cotton farmers. In India organic cotton seeds have become virtually unobtainable and all farmers are forced to buy BT cotton seeds. So what happens when their crop fields die? A suicide rate of over a quarter million BT cotton farmers each year, this is what.
Stay tuned for next week`s article in which I will further explore the subject of sustainable clothing and tell you about the other alternative fiber materials.