Good day, everyone 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
Today I’d like to discuss a topic which is becoming more and more of a priority for not only myself, but also for many fashion forward men and women. The words of the day are ‘sustainable’, ‘eco’, ‘fair trade’, ‘organic’ and ‘natural fibers’. The reason I would like to talk with you about it is because I am seriously considering launching yet another experiment here on lifexperiment blog.
As most of you already well know, I am a huge proponent of natural fabrics. There are several reasons for this, some are as follows:
- Studies have shown that linen is the most hygienic fabric for sheets, and that bamboo is naturally antibacterial
- Chemical processing. Fabrics like polyester, rayon and acrylic are treated with various acids and chemical processes. What’s the use in leading a healthy lifestyle if you are absorbing these chemicals through your skin? Of course, you aren’t going to get a ton of it, but some of these have been said to cause cancer and I’m thinking that 5 minutes of saved ironing, isn’t worth it.
- It’s basically plastic. I don’t eat plastic and I don’t want to wear plastic. However, I do eat flax, so linen is ok 😉
- Money. If I am going to invest in a gorgeous piece of clothing, I want to feel gorgeous in it! Also, if I can buy a poly dress for €5, why would I pay €300 for the same thing? This is a major bone of contention with me.
- Natural fibers feel better. Ever notice how you always get hot in that poly blend shirt, but never in organic cotton or silk? It’s back to the plastic thing. Natural fibers breathe better. Personally, I’m in love with the way silks, linens, cotton (especially organic, for some reason), cashmere, wools and leather feel on my skin.
In searching for these beloved fabrics of mine, I have made some interesting discoveries. There are actually tons of companies that now specialize in sustainable, natural or eco-friendly clothing. And it’s not like it used to be! Remember 10 -12 years ago when basically all the sustainable clothing was only in stores that also carried candles and incense? When the first thing that came into your mind at the sound of ‘organic cotton’ was bicycle Tee’s and cargo pants? Totally not the case anymore…much to my delight! 🙂 Some of the online shops I found actually had some really fabulous business wear, daily wear and I even saw a few wedding dresses! Now here’s the rub: Although most places are very upfront about which branch of eco, sustainable, organic they are on – sometimes, you just have to find what you like, click and hope the fabrics are what you’re looking for. Here are some of the differences I’ve noticed:
- Fair Trade: This usually refers to locally or regionally sources fibre, and it also refers to the labor. Fair Trade labor is always better because you don’t have to worry about sweatshops, under payment or child labor. Fair Trade is awesome 🙂
- Sustainable: This can represent a multitude. But the main meaning behind it is that either the fabrics, production methods or business are done in such a way to drastically reduce waste, pollution and over-use of resources. For example: I have found several companies which use recycled bottles, recycled polyester or recycled cotton and cashmere to make their clothing items. Some of them are really cool too 🙂 This drastically reduces waste as the fabric contents are recycled, so no new production there (apart from the recycling process, of course). Also, another example, is companies who do not make the item until it is ordered, in order to reduce the waste of over-production. Sustainable is good 🙂
- Eco: Eco is kind of ‘all-encompassing’. It can mean using recycled material, fair trade, organics, or not using the harsh chemical component to some of their textiles. Eco is good, but can be confusing.
- Organic: No pesticides used on the crops (including silk, because the silk worms can eat natural – non chemical filled – whatever silk worms eat. Leaves?) which go into your natural fabrics. If it’s organic, it’s natural. This is great, and might explain why organic cotton feels so much fluffier than regular cotton. (I don’t know, I’m still trying to figure out why that is…)
- Natural fibers: Yeah, Ba-by – Now you have my full attention! Linen, silk, cotton, hemp, soy, mohair, rabbit hair (I actually found a place that combs and shears their own rabbits to make rabbit hair products – with no harm to the bunnies!), bamboo, leather, wool, cashmere. Love this. When I find a place with great natural fiber clothing – as a general product line, not a diamond floating in a sea of acrylic sweaters – I will be a customer for life.
What I’m proposing is this: Since I’m already on a constant search for natural fiber, eco friendly and sustainable clothing anyway on my own time, what if I just share the experience with you? Let you know when I find a company I like and what their specialization’s are, or share when I find an outfit or two that I totally fall in love with. Or rant when I get totally feed-up and frustrated with the search. What do you think?
Since it is our time that I am taking, I would really like to hear your thoughts and feedback. Would you be interested in continuing the search with me for highly fashionable, natural fiber, eco-friendly and sustainable clothing?
Thanks for reading and taking part! I’m really looking forward to hearing your thoughts!