Organic clothing is now prevalent in the shopping industry and has become more affordable for everyone. Organic items have become increasingly available in recent years, with most coming from India. There are many organic items available including clothes, blankets, towels, sheets and underwear.
The 2017 Organic Market Report reveals +7.1% growth of organic food and drink in the UK and total sale of 2.9 billion while the non-organic market continues to decline. We are now in our fifth consecutive year of sales growth for organic products[/inlinetweet]. (source: https://www.soilassociation.org/certification/market-research-and-data/the-organic-market-report/)
Some people simply buy organic produce as they are concerned with pesticide residue on their food, while others go further and make their own organic cleaning products, use only organic hygiene and wear only organically made clothing.
Organic clothing is primarily made of organic cotton, wool, or silk, which meets organic agricultural standards. A key point to note is a garment does not need to be 100% organic to use the label of ‘organic’.
While organic clothing may be more expensive than non-organic clothing, it is worth remembering -you are purchasing quality over quantity. By purchasing organic clothing, you are ensuring the environment is affected in the smallest way possible, and the farmers and other workers are receiving a fair pay for their work.
They are also working in much better conditions than other non-organic clothing factories, with no child labor. When looking for a shop or online store to purchase organic clothing, there are several key features to look for.
These include providing detailed information on the manufacturing process; locally sourced products; ethical employment policies and the effects on global warming, for example, are garments shipped via sea or air?
A truly ethical company will only produce organic products, and will ship them via sea to minimize the effect on global warming.
Benefits Of Organic Clothing
As with organic food, there is a range of benefits to purchasing organic clothing. Although the environment largely benefits, there are still sufficient advantages to those who buy the clothing.
- The process of cultivating the cotton plants does not include any form of pesticides; this not only benefits the cotton plant directly, but also the environment as a whole
- Organic cotton is much softer than non-organic cotton, and therefore many people prefer organic clothing simply for this reason
- Many consumers prefer to purchase clothing from companies that have many ethical policies and procedures to ensure the safeguarding of all employees
- It has been argued that organic clothing is better for us, and particularly for babies and young children
- As there are fewer chemicals involved, the garments are much less likely to cause allergies
- The environment is protected unlike with non-organic garments
- Reduces environmental pollution
- The production process is hugely beneficial to the farm workers on the cotton plants. As the process includes little or no chemicals, there is much less chance of workers developing health allergies
- Part of the organic standard includes ensuring decent wages for the workers. This ensures families are supported and are able to have a decent standard of living
- Knowing you are wearing ethical and organic clothing can
Worldwide there is a range of standards used to class items as organic. Generally, all garments must have come from a non-genetically modified and pesticide free process. It is important to note that not all standards include 100% requirements; some standards simply specify a level, which the amount of pesticides must not exceed.
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the main standard used worldwide. This defines a process from start to finish with high standards that must be met. For this standard to be achieved, garments must contain at least 70% organic fibers.
The standard sets criteria that the manufacturing process must meet in order to obtain the standard. For example, all organic fibers must be kept separate from non-organic fibers; packaging must not contain PVC and each company must have strict environmental policies.
In addition to this, the company must have rigorous staffing and workplace condition policies to ensure workers are operating in a high-quality environment. For example, policies include minimum wage; sufficient breaks; safe and hygienic processes; and no discrimination anywhere in the company.
Living an organic lifestyle and using organic products is good for the earth and us. Consider this for yourself and your family, no matter how small your actions are, every little bit is useful.