Are you ready to revamp your closet for the fall?
You should consider designers like, Kim Carlson, eco-expert and founder of “EarthSmart Consumer Certified”, who use earth-friendly fabrics and practices. Kim helps people become true label readers in a way to be eco-chi and find green threads. Although green clothes may not be the first thing we read about in fashion, there is definitely a growing awareness.
Here are some tips from Kim regarding eco-friendly fabrics like organic cotton, hemp fabric, tencel and wool.
Organic Cotton: Try to buy anything you wear next to your skin, like underwear and pyjamas made out of organic cotton. Non-organic cotton is an extremely pesticide intensive crop. It is comforting to know that organic cotton is raised without toxins or synthetic fertilizers. So it’s better for land and water supply. It’s also produced without harsh chemical bleaches or dyes, which won’t irritate your skin.
Hemp: Hemp is making a comeback not as a drug, but as a fabric. Hemp grows naturally without pesticides. Since it grows like a weed it even nourishes the soil rather than sapping it and costs less to produce. Hemp is often combined with other fabrics like silk and cotton to make jeans, skirts, jackets and accessories including purses and belts. No need to worry, this isn’t the clunky, hemp fashion of the 70’s. The designs are sleek and exude a sophisticated eco-intelligence.
Tencel: Be sure to check labels when shopping for a new fabric called tencel. It’s known in the fashion world for its “drape”. It looks quite luxurious, similar to rayon. The fabric is lightweight, soft and breathable. Tencel is made from wood pulp – that’s right, trees.
Most other synthetic fabrics are made from petroleum, a non-renewable and highly toxic resource. Tencel is made from tree-farmed trees, a renewable resource. The other good news is the fiber is produced with much less pollution than other man-made fibers.
Wool: On a cool night you migh consider Alpaca wool. Alpacas are related to Llamas of the Andes Mountains. The wool doesn’t contain lanolin, meaning it doesn’t require the harsh chemicals used to clean sheep’s wool. It is softer and stronger than conventional wool and comes in a wide range of beautiful, earth tone colors, which eliminates the use of toxic dyes.
To keep your fashion looking fresh and lighten your pocketbook, you can mix and match expensive, cheap, new and old into your wardrobe selections. To take advantage of recycling, buy from a company that makes new goods out of discarded waste like “Ekoganic’s” recycled cashmere designs made from scrap cashmere. It keeps scraps out of the waste stream and uses less energy patching pieces together.
Care of Clothes:
Did you realize that taking care of your clothes is as important as the kind of clothes you buy? Try using a biodegradable, non-phosphorus laundry soap. If you buy something that needs dry-cleaning, be sure to take it to a “non-PERC” cleaner. PERC (perchloroethylene) is a hazardous chemical that’s been linked to cancer. You can find these cleaners by looking for “wet cleaners”, carbon dioxide cleaners or a silicone solvent cleaner. If a PERC dry cleaner is used, take the plastic off of the clothes immediately and air them out in a basement for 48 hours before hanging them in your closet. The plastic holds the toxic chemical in until you wear it!
The Bottom Line: Become a label reader! Read clothing labels just as you read labels to find out what’s in your food. Apply the organic principle: avoiding chemicals is a good thing even in what we wear and how we clean our clothes. So the next time you go shopping remember these important tips. Even take a little note with you listing different types of eco-friendly fabrics.
For more on Kim, please visit www.earthsmartconsumer.com.