How clued up are you on your fabrics.?
Can you tell your 100% cottons from your polyesters?
What is natural and what is man-made?
You may be surprised to know that cotton manufactured in today’s modern industry is not as natural as you would think. The truth is that more chemicals are now used to produce cotton than any other crop in the world. To grow cotton, we use about 3% of farmland yet about 25% of the worlds pesticides. Concerns are building as more of us become aware that some of these pesticides are known to cause cancer and consumers are looking for cleaner fabrics to be used in the production of their clothes.
As people become more aware, hopefully we will see more alternative choices breaking out on to the market. Don’t be put off by some companies asking exuberant prices for organic clothes. There are plenty of organizations and fashion experts working hard to bring affordable and sustainable clothing.
You need to do your research. If you care about where your clothes come from, who has made them and if the people in the production chain are treated fairly, then look out for some of these natural fabrics and start introducing them to your wardrobe.
ORGANIC COTTON. Grown without using harmful pesticides, synthetic chemicals and herbicides. Organic cotton also uses less water. Check that the print is from natural dyes and any trims and buttons are organically produced. You can also ask if it is organically certified. Pure organic cotton is known as grey cotton. Most cottons use a bleaching process to make them white. Some cottons can be whitened using Aloe Vera.
HEMP. Because hemp is resistant to pests and bacteria, it does not need pesticides and herbicides. Hemp is very durable and can vary in texture. It is also often blended with cotton. DID YOU KNOW THAT SPAIN HAS A HISTORY OF GROWING HEMP. READ MORE
FLAX (usually known as linen) made from the fibres of the flax plant. Linen is a fabric that is popular in a summer wardrobe and is also highly absorbent. However, linen will crease. Make sure you ask for organically certified.
BAMBOO Bamboo grows quickly and produces strong silky fibres. It doesn’t need pesticides or fertilisers. The fabric is soft and smooth and will last a long time.
There are many fabrics on the market that traditionally would have been produced organically, in some cases we can easily turn back to these methods if we are prepared to pay a bit more.
So, what next. Learn your fabrics and start asking how and where they were produced. Read the clothes labels and start asking questions in the stores before you purchase. If you cannot get the answers you need, think about buying more from the charity shops and stop these items ending up on land fill sites.
Be part of the solution, not the problem and think twice before you buy another cheap T shirt from a fast fashion store.
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