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WE GOT YOU COVERED: SUSTAINABLE CLOTHING 2

01/08/2013

Hi, dears, here we are continuing last week`s article on sustainable clothing. As promised, let`s see what other than cotton alternative fiber materials there are. Coming from plants that have not been radiated, genetically modified or treated with synthetic or chemical pesticides, they are used to produce organic clothing we should all consider switching to. That is, in my humble opinion, of course; as it is one of those little things that can easily fit in a modern person`s lifestyle, but have great impact on the environment.

Soy fabrics are derived from the hulls of soybeans—a manufacturing byproduct. Clothing made of soy is biodegradable thus having a very minimal impact on environment not only in production but also after its lovely owner decides he or she doesn`t need it anymore. Although it`s a wonder why, if properly cared for, anyone would decide to do such a thing, as soy clothing is known for its soft, pleasurable feel and although not as durable as cotton, it will last for a good while. As a matter of fact its sensation is so light and silky, they call it the vegetable cashmere Add its resistance to harmful UV rays, excellent moisture absorbency and antibacterial qualities and it sounds like the perfect fabric.

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Bamboo fabrics are made from heavily pulped bamboo grass and since it is naturally disease and pest resistant, not to mention soooo fast growing, making clothing of bamboo is considered sustainable. As it is not naturally white in color, just like cotton, bamboo fibers are usually bleached with chemicals, which of course is not the case when it comes to organic clothing production.

Hemp is another very friendly crop, requiring very little water and naturally disease and pest resistant. Fibers made of it are two types:  primary and secondary bast fibers. Hemp is unbelievably durable, approximately 8 times the tensile strength and 4 times the durability, compared to cotton fabrics. Traditionally coarse, hemp fibers have been long used for ropes, not clothing, but nowadays they are often blended with cotton or silk to make them less rigid.

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POP is a new synthetic option for producing sustainable clothing materials – fabric made from recycled beverage bottles such as soda, water, juice. Clothing made from plastics usually (more than 70%) comes from polyester, the type most used is is polyethylene terephthalate(PET). Producing clothes from recycled bottle plastics is a great option which keeps the bottles from occupying landfill space and it takes 30% less energy to make clothes from recycled plastics than from virgin ones. This method is becoming vastly popular and of course big companies ‘marketing executives have already taken advantage of it, one example is the Coca-Cola Company, who already has a Drink2Wear line of T-shirts, made of, surprise, recycled coke bottles.

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But being sustainable when it comes to your wardrobe is not only about wearing clothes made of organic fibers. Decreasing the environmental impact of agro-chemicals in producing conventional fiber crops is a great start, but environmentally-conscious people should also consider not over buying (you really, really need that white T-shirt, exactly the same like the five you already have?) and donating used clothing to charity, thus reducing the amount discarded to landfills.