Showing posts with label organic cotton clothing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label organic cotton clothing. Show all posts

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Organic Cotton 101

What is "organic cotton?"

Organic cotton is grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, reduce the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, and build biologically diverse agriculture. Third-party certification organizations verify that organic producers use only methods and materials allowed in organic production. Organic cotton is grown without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. In addition, federal regulations prohibit the use of genetically engineered seed for organic farming. All cotton sold as organic in the United States must meet strict federal regulations covering how the cotton is grown.

Organic cotton is generally understood as cotton from non genetically modified plants, that is to be grown without the use of any synthetic agricultural chemicals such as fertilizers or pesticides. In the United States cotton plantations must also meet the requirements enforced by the National Organic Program (NOP), from the USDA, in order to be considered organic. This institution determines the allowed practices for pest control, growing, fertilizing, and handling of organic crops.As of 2007, 265,517 bales of organic cotton were produced in 24 countries and worldwide production was growing at a rate of more than 50% per year.

Ecological footprint

Cotton covers 55% of the world's cultivated land yet uses 75% of the world's insecticides, more than any other single major crop. Other  environmental consequences of the elevated use of chemicals in the non organic cotton growing methods consist of:
·         High levels of agrochemicals are used in the production of non-organic, conventional cotton. Conventional farming devours roughly a third of a lb of pesticides & fertilizers to produce enough for just  1 t shirt .
·         Cotton production uses more chemicals per unit area than any other crop and accounts in total for 10-16% of the world's pesticides (including herbicides, insecticides, and defoliants).
·         Pesticides, the nine most common are highly toxic; five are probable carcinogens.
·         GMO used in 70% of US grown cotton. That requires intense irrigation .
          Chemicals used in the processing of cotton pollute the air and surface waters.
·         Residual chemicals may irritate consumers' skin.
·         Decreased biodiversity and shifting equilibrium of ecosystems due to the use of pesticides.

Organic system plan 
Producers must elaborate an organic production or handling system plan which must also be approved by the state certifying agency or the USDA. This plan must include careful explanation of every process held in the plantation, as well as the frequency with which they are performed. A list of substances used on the crops is also necessary, along with a description of their composition, place where they will be used, and if possible documentation of commercial availability. This inventory of substances is important for the regulation of allowed and
prohibited material established by the SOP.Organic cotton growers must also provide A description of the control procedures and physical barriers established to prevent contact of organic and non organic crops on split operations and to avoid contact of organic production with prohibited substance during gestation, harvesting, and handling operations . This production plan can also be transferred to other states as long as it has already been approved by a certifying agency.
Production requirements are specifically the set of changes that must be made to field and farming practices in order for a crop to be considered organic. To begin with, organic fields must go through a cleansing period of three years, without the use of any prohibited substances, before planting the first organic crop. Fields must also be equipped with physical barriers and buzzers in order to prevent contact of organic crops with any chemical substance product of surface runoff from crops nearby. Producers must also strive to promote soil fertility through cultivation practices while maintaining or improving the physical, chemical, and biological condition of the soil and minimizes soil erosion. Organic growers must also implement practices to support biodiversity. Such practices include integrated pest management (IPM), which consists of the manipulation of ecosystems that benefit both the crops and the 
organisms that live around it. In addition to these practices, producers may only apply crop nutrients and soil amendments included on the National List of synthetic substances allowed in crop production.
Handling procedures are all the processes related to product packaging, pest control in handling processing facilities among others. The SOP allows the use of mechanical or
biological methods for the purpose of retarding spoilage of products, but at the same time it prohibits the use of volatile synthetic solvents in processed products or any ingredient that is labeled as organic.
Since organic cotton is grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, it should contain fewer pesticides than conventional cotton. Pesticides used in the production of conventional cotton include orthophosphates such as phorate and methamidophosendosulfan (highly toxic to farmers,] but not very environmentally persistent) and aldicarb. Other pesticides persisting in cotton fields in the United States include TrifluralinToxaphene and DDT .Although the last two chemicals are no longer used in the United States  their long breakdown period and difficulty in removal ensures their persistence. Thus even organic cotton fields may contain them since conventional cotton fields can be transitioned to organic fields in 2–3 years.
Over time though, studies have been done to find alternatives to conventional pesticide substances. These nonconventional farmers have given up their land and its yields to the testing of different, more organic ways of pest control. Organic farmers argue that conventional farmers don’t know the long term effects of the pesticides they use, especially when the evidence is hidden under the soil. Some farmers in the US use composted tea leaves to act as a substitute for pesticides. Research continues to seek new environmentally, friendly ways to rid the soil of harmful pesticides. There has even been a study on using certain animal manure, like chickens, to decrease pest population.
 How is the apparel industry involved with organic cotton? 
Apparel companies are developing programs that either use 100 percent organically grown cotton, or blend small percentages of organic cotton with conventional cotton in their products. There are a number of companies driving the expanded use of domestic and international organic cotton.  
What kinds of products are made using organic cotton? 
As a result of consumer interest, organic cotton fiber is used in everything from personal care
items (sanitary products, make-up removal pads, cotton puffs and ear swabs), to home furnishings (towels, bathrobes, sheets, blankets, bedding), children's products (toys, diapers), clothes of all kinds and styles (whether for lounging, sports or the workplace), and even stationery and note cards.
In addition, organic cottonseed is used for animal feed, and organic cottonseed oil is used in a variety of food products, including cookies and chips.

Sources used in an article : Organic Trade Association , Wikipedia  

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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Eco Friendly Organic Clothing: Xylem Clothing, Member of Directory

Organic Clothing Materials – Cotton, Hemp, Silk and Soy

Eco-Friendly Organic Clothes

At Xylem Clothing, our dedication to sustainability, appreciation for beauty and commitment to durability lead us to the finest organic and Eco-friendly fabrics available.
Meticulously chosen for quality, purity and comfort, our fabrics embrace the body in natural beauty.
Being both ecologically and socially responsible, all our fabrics are fair trade and sweatshop free.
Safe for the earth and safe for your skin, each garment is hand colored in small batches using low impact dyes, and the vibrant colors stand the test of time with enduring beauty.
Using the highest quality organic cotton, recycled soy fiber, hemp, tencel, silk and wool fabrics Xylem brings you quality Eco-conscious clothing rich in style and natural elegance.

Recycled Soy Fabric Fiber

Known as “vegetarian cashmere”, soy protein fiber is soft and supple with luxurious luster and elegant drape. It has a cashmere feel only smoother. The moisture absorption is similar to that of cotton but its ventilation is superior.
Soy fabric has high breathability, excellent absorbency, great color retention, natural wrinkle resistance, and does not shrink from heat as much as other natural fabrics.
Soy fabric is extremely durable with a breaking strength greater than cotton, silk and wool.
The structure and pigment of the fibers makes soy fabric easy to color with low impact dyes. And its ultra-violet resistant properties protect it from fading and splotching. So it has vibrant longevity of color.
Soy fiber fabric also contains bacteria resisting compounds that actually help protect the body from harmful bacteria.
How its made:
This exceptional Eco-friendly fiber is made from the renewable resource of the unused soy protein remaining after the production of other soy products like tofu, soy milk and soy oil. While this is a chemically intensive process it is a closed loop system, meaning they reuse the chemicals over and over rather than dumping them.
This practice, of converting waste materials into other products of better quality or higher environmental value is known as up cycling.
Our up cycled soy kashmere is blended with organic cotton and a little spandex for the perfect fit to create an Eco-friendly fabric that is both sensual and practical.
Soy Fabric history:
Although it’s explosion into the fashion world is relatively new, soybean fiber actually made its debut in 1937 when it was invented by Henry Ford. During the great depression Ford was dedicated to the use of soy beans for food, fuel and fiber. He promoted soy beans as a natural nitrogen fixer for soil, a health food, a biodegradable plastic, a clean fuel, and fabric. He was often seen decked out in his snazzy soy suit and tie. Using soybeans as a miracle crop that provides many products was seen as a way to support family farms, create jobs and stabilize the economy.
However after WW2 the use of petroleum and other chemicals stimulated the growth of the rayon, nylon and cotton industries. Soy fiber was all but forgotten about until the search for a truly sustainable fabric re-birthed the soybean into the fashion world in 1998. This time it was Mr Li Guanqi of China who perfected the process, creating the even softer, cashmere-like soy fabric that is revolutionizing the Eco-fashion industry today.
Our Soy Bikini Panties are a popular organic intimate item this year.

Organic Cotton Clothing

Why use organic cotton?
Non-organic or conventionally grown cotton is considered one of agriculture’s dirtiest crops. About 25
percent of the world’s insecticide use and more than 10 percent of the world’s pesticide use is for cotton crops. Conventional cotton also requires very large amounts of chemical fertilizers to replace nutrients into the soil. These nitrogenous fertilizers seep into the ground water harming wildlife and poisoning drinking water.
The conventional conversion of cotton into fabric also depends on heavy use of toxic chemicals at each stage. Silicone waxes, harsh petroleum scours, heavy metals, ammonia and formaldehyde along with others get flushed into the water and leave residues in the fabric that can potentially harm the wearer.
Many of the chemicals used in the production of conventional cotton are considered to be some of the most toxic chemicals in the world and do great harm to people, wildlife and the environment.
Organic cotton, on the other hand, is an ecologically responsible and green fiber. Organic cotton is grown and processed without the use of toxic chemicals and is never genetically modified. Instead organic cotton farmers use innovative techniques to enrich the soil and protect cotton plants from insects and pests. Crop rotations along with composting systems build healthy soil. Integrated pest management strategies use natural predators and certain companion plants to keep pests away. The natural process of growing organic cotton supports healthy ecosystems and the biodiversity that is crucial to a livable planet.
The process of turning organic cotton into fabric uses only chemicals that are approved by organic certifying agencies. There are no harmful residues left behind which endows organic cotton with the comfortable assurance that you are not absorbing toxic chemicals through your skin.
Working conditions for all stages of our organic cotton fabric production are certified fair trade. The work environment is safe and healthy, the employees are treated with respect, paid fairly and have health insurance and maternity and sick leave.
When you make the choice to use organic cotton you not only support the preservation of a livable planet, you also support conscientious farming and production communities who have been producing cotton fabric without toxic chemicals for years. Their dedication and diligence produces organic cotton that is far superior to conventional cotton in both quality and safety.Our Organic Cotton Bras are a popular organic cotton item this year.

Hemp Clothing

Hemp has a sensuous drape and hang, similar to that of linen. It is also extremely durable, yet insulating making it desirable for both blistering-hot summer and bitter-cold winter wear. We use 100% pure hemp, as well as tencel, wool, and silk blends.

Tencel Clothing

Tencel is the trade name for a human-made, natural fabric called “Lyocell” that is cool and breathable, like rayon, with a gorgeous, flowing drape. Tencel is made from the cellulose of farm-raised trees, grown on land that has been deemed unsuitable for food growth or animal grazing.

Pictures of products of   Xylem Clothing company:

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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Eco Fashion :How Gucci Bags Get a Green Makeover


Eco-fashion: Why green is the new black for Gucci

Gucci has teamed up with Livia Firth to design a new ecologically 100 per cent traceable bag.
Gucci & Livia Firth's new ecologically traceable bag.
Gucci & Livia Firth's new ecologically traceable bag. Photo: GUCCI
In our hearts, we all know that even if fashion isn't the biggest ecological vandal in the universe, it is almost by definition not green. If it is any colour, it is black. Black is slimming, black is classic, black is… one of the most toxic dyes.
 Gucci's new ecologically 100 percent traceable bag is not black. It is a rich burgundy brownish-red, because that was the most satisfying and covetable of all the vegetable-sourced hues they came up with. And the leather is among the softest, can't-believe-it's-not-butteriest you will find anywhere, let alone in an ecologically 100 per cent traceable bag.
Forgive the repetition. But this is a big deal. Luxury brands, for all their willingness to bang on about heritage, craftsmanship and exotic skins, go very quiet, on the whole, when it comes to matters of sustainability. And they're positively Trappist on the subject of traceability.
That's because following the path of every piece of hardware, every last stitch, every zip, trim and dangly bit is laborious and time-consuming. Not all luxury houses have the resources - or the stomach - to dig for the answers. Better to forge on in a commodity that's endlessly sustainable: ignorance.
Who knew, for example, that leather is a major culprit when it comes to deforestation? It's obvious when you think about it, but even a green campaigner like Livia Firth was surprised when she first discovered its culpability via a National Wildlife Federation report.
Firth being Firth, she took her shock to the next level - specifically Gucci - and suggested they might like to turn their leather supply chain upside down, inside out and start all over again.
Blow us all down, they did. With the help of Nathalie Walker at NWF, Rossella Ravagli, Gucci's head of corporate social responsibility and sustainability, began working with a ranch in Brazil, teaching them how to farm cattle without chopping down a single tree. Two years later, the first fully traceable Gucci eco-bag is arriving in store any moment.
It's not just the leather's provenance that's impeccable. The people who made the bags and all the attendant hardware work in Gucci's factory in Florence, and have done so, in many cases, for years. The bamboo handle, a Gucci classic that dates back to the Fifties (Princess Grace had several such bags) is made from a plant that grows like a weed.
Firth came to show me the bag last week, and it is very stylish - based on the Gucci Jackie, which was a favorite with the former American first lady throughout her life. Firth said she approached Gucci because she thought the social responsibility at PPR (the holding group that owns the label) is genuinely serious about its goals. "It's the only luxury company that has so far dedicated an entire arm of itself to sustainability and when I turned up with this proposal, they jumped at it," she says.
Linking up with a snazzy megalith is a new departure for Firth, who has previously championed much smaller, certifiably green labels such as Henrietta Ludgate, or ransacked her address book of swanky A-listers (which is bulging; she's the wife of Colin) and deployed her considerable charm to persuade them to wear ecologically sympathetic dresses on the red carpet. If her Green Carpet Challenge is a worthwhile consciousness raiser, the Gucci project is another step. "It's becoming increasingly important for consumers to understand how things are made. Luxury brands are very keen to stress their craftsmanship, but after that, there's a brick wall. Things get very opaque. This is showing that it doesn't have to be."
Frida Giannini, Gucci's creative director, didn't need any persuading. "I really believe that today, more than ever before, customers want to be associated with brands that are thoughtful and responsible. At Gucci we'd like not just to be synonymous with 'Made in Italy', but also 'Made with Integrity'."
Not that it was easy to meet the green criteria without compromising Gucci's reputation for luxury. But Giannini believes the end product exceeded her expectations.
Firth is realistic about how fast she can affect significant change. She's only too aware of the paradoxes inherent in what she's achieved. Personally, she doesn't wear fur: Gucci is a big fur house. She accepts that even cows nurtured on non-deforested land would probably prefer not to be slaughtered for a bag. But she's a pragmatist. If we must wear leather, then let's do the best we can with it. That's why working with a company like Gucci, with its commercial and manufacturing might, is important.
"Let's be honest, this is a baby step," she says. "They're only producing 250 or so of these bags to begin with."
On the other hand, they will be prominently displayed and, as Giannini says, "There's definitely room for more eco-conscious handbags. We've already developed a variety of products such as sustainable eyewear models using, for example, liquid wood, and ballerina shoes realised in bio-plastic."
The overarching message is that if Gucci can make a sexy, luxurious eco-bag that people will pay £1,550 for, then eco-bags just got glamorous.

To find more  Eco Fashion companies visit :
Organic Cotton Clothing

Eco Fashion Brands & Shops

Organic Baby Clothing & Organic Shirts

Hemp Clothing

For more information about Eco Friendly Green Businesses & Services Worldwide,  visit, ,a largest Eco Directory, founded in 1998

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