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Organic Clothing

Most of us enjoy buying clothes. Many people use clothes to express their identities, their feelings, their individuality. So what about 'eco' clothing? Currently there doesn't seem to be an official organic standard for organic clothing. Natural clothing may consist of cotton, hemp and linen, but these may not always be as green as people think. Here is a low down of the advantages and disadvantages of 'organic clothing'.



Cotton

Cotton is produced very intensely. There are a lot of the pesticides used in the process. Chemicals are needed to scour off the fibres waxy layer to allow dye retention. Raw cotton is also bleached white with chemicals such as chlorine. Some crops are 'organic' and these are free from pesticides and other chemicals. Unbleached cotton may have been grown with pesticides, so this label doesn't mean as much. Organic cotton is produced in 15 countries, but that only represents 0.6% of overall production.
PAN UK is a organic cotton project for further information check out:
PANUK

Hemp

Hemp is the common name for a tall annual herb (Cannabis sativa), and is used for non-drug production. Hemp has natural strong, durable fibres, which has made it popular. Although there has been some stigma surrounding hemp due to its links with marijuana, but these crops are grown contain virtually none of the active substances that are found in marijuana. Pesticides aren't used in the production of hemp. Hemp has a multiple of uses, in food, (hemp seeds) clothing, fuel, and beauty products.

Linen

Linen is fabric made from yarn or flax, which grows much quicker than cotton, and also needs much less chemical weed control. Linen is great for the summer months as it has a cool effect. Linen can be found in many qualities from lightweight sheets, to strong sacks.



Silk

Silk is a very lightweight, fine, yellowish fibre produced from the silkworm. Fabrics that are produced are satin, crepes, ribbons and taffeta. It is another natural product, but can be treated and soaked in chemicals during the production process.

Other fabrics

Not strictly organic, but still good for the environment as it is less going into landfill - clothes are now being made from recycled materials such as plastic bottles or tyres.

Further Information

Here are a few alternative clothing companies you can check out.

The Natural Store - a mixture of organic clothing
www.thenaturalstore.co.uk
01273 746781

Green Baby - organic clothing and green nappies for babies and children
www.greenbaby.co.uk
0870 240 6894

Eczema Clothing - 100% organic cotton clothing, specialising in people with eczema
www.eczemaclothing.com
01524 730093

Yaoh - organic vegan hemp products
www.yaoh.co.uk
0117 9239053


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