Buyer Beware Part 3: Sustainable Shopping
Next time you’re out shopping here is a little food for thought
Certain fabrics are more eco-friendly than others. Generally, “green” fabrics use little-to-no pesticides when grown; the farming practices are sustainable; they are animal friendly; and the companies that buy them adhere to fair trade practices. A good choice is buying organic wool, linen, and cotton, hemp/hessian, and bamboo products. Some silks are very sustainable too, like milk silk and soy silk. There is also Tencel®, which makes fabric out of wood pulp. You can also buy synthetic clothes made from recycled clothing or plastics, like recycled polyester and FORTREL EcoSpun® . There are a ton of options for you, so get out of your comfort zone and explore the world of fashion that makes a more sustainable statement!
Clothing dyes can be insidiously harmful to your health and to our waterways. Like conventional cleaners, synthetics dyes also contain harmful chemicals that can worsen migraines, cause rashes, and increase hyperactivity in children. Synthetic dyes contain reproductive and/or developmental toxins and hormonal disruptors that enable the dyes to adhere to your clothing. Basically you are wearing flame-retardants on your skin all day long. Over time the chemicals that your skin absorbs can make these conflicts worsen. While throwing out your entire wardrobe in exchange for a new one is unrealistic (and expensive), in the future try exploring clothes dyed with clay-based dyes or ones that are low-impact. Yet another option is clothes that are made from colour-grown cottons.
I won’t get into the gruesome business of the fur trade; you can make your moral judgments on your own with that one. However, if animal rights is your thing, or if you are vegan/vegetarian, may I suggest looking into vegan/vegetarian clothing! But beware that leather substitutes usually involve plastics that are not so healthy for you or the environment. Unfortunately, you have to decide for yourself what is more important to you.
Here are some interesting reads: