Cotton is the most common type of organic clothing. In fact, according to the Organic Consumer’s Association the demand for organic cotton has doubled. However, you can also find other organic clothing items. Each material has its own benefits. Like cotton, they must all meet regulations set by the Organic Trade Association. These regulations control fibre processing, production, dyeing and handling.
Organic wool comes from sheep that have not come in contact with pesticides or insecticides. The wool is not treated with harsh chemicals or dyes. Additionally, the sheep are fed natural feed which has not been treated. They are not fed antibiotics or hormones. Additionally the sheep which produce organic wool must live in humane conditions.
Silk is obtained by harvesting the material from silkworms. Organic silk is silk that has not been treated by chemicals or dyed with artificial colours.
Hemp is a fibre that is made from the cannabis plant. It’s extremely durable. It also requires no pesticides and very little water. It’s easy to grow. It’s also a very sustainable crop because it grows quickly.
Hemp clothing can be made purely from hemp fibres. However, it is also often combined with cotton, silk or other fibers to make it more soft and pliable.
Organic Bamboo Clothing
Bamboo is a fantastically renewable resource. As one of the fastest-growing plants in the world, a new sprout reaches its full height in two to three months. It’s organic and can be farmed without pesticides or chemical additives. It's also 100 percent biodegradable. Recent technologies have made it so bamboo fibre clothing is extremely soft and comfortable. Like hemp, bamboo is often woven with cotton or hemp to create apparel.
Organic Soy ClothingSoy clothing is made from the hulls of the soy beans. It’s not as durable as cotton, bamboo or hemp. However, it’s incredibly soft. So soft it’s often compared to cashmere. When blended with cotton, hemp or bamboo it can be both durable and soft.
TencelTencel fabric is an amazing eco-friendly fabric. It is a natural, man-made fibre. Made from the natural cellulose found in wood pulp. The fibre is economical in its use of energy and natural resources and is fully biodegradable. It has natural breathability and 50% greater moisture absorption than cotton and is also anti-bacterial. Conveniently resistant to wrinkles. Textiles of TENCEL® fibres are more absorbent than cotton, softer than silk and cooler than linen.
POP, PET and Other Synthetic Options
As demand for sustainable practices and products continue to grow more technologies are developed. Recently manufacturers have begun to produce clothing from recycled plastic bottles.
This fabric is often referred to as POP, PET or PETE. The clothing produced is polyester. Many companies are jumping on the bandwagon. Coca Cola, for example, has a t-shirt line made from recycled soda bottles.
There are a wide variety of materials to choose from when buying organic clothing. It’s becoming more and more popular to buy organic. This demand has meant lower prices, more variety and an abundance of fabrics to choose from.
When buying organic clothing the only way to really be sure you’re purchasing a truly organic product is to look on the label. What is it made of? Who certified it organic?
Buying organic clothing can have a significant impact on your budget, your health and your environment. If you’re already consuming organic foods and cleaning your home with natural products, buying organic clothing may be the next logical step.