A 360-degree view of eco-fashion

08/06/2010 at 6:18 am Leave a comment

There’s been a lot of attention this week on issues related to eco-fashion, from the well-reviewed Going Green exhibit at FIT to a new report from Organic Exchange stating that sales of organic cotton apparel and home textiles increased 35% in 2009, despite the struggling economy. 

Demand for sustainable and environmentally friendly apparel is most certainly on the rise, and high-end designers and global manufacturers such as Nike, Williams-Sonoma and Walmart are stepping up to the challenge. Consumers are making purchasing decisions that help them feel better about their individual impact on the environment, but it doesn’t end when they click “buy.”  The process of transforming even organic cotton into fabric takes a toll – irrigation during the growing season leads to excessive water consumption and the manufacturing system isn’t always energy efficient. 

Levi Strauss & Co. is raising awareness about the climate impact of jeans – it turns out that a majority of the damage is done not in manufacturing, but after the purchase is made.  They’re sponsoring a Care to Air Design Challenge to address “the energy intensive method we choose for drying” clothing, with a goal of finding an innovative and sustainable way to air-dry clothes that’s more stylish and effective than the good old-fashioned clotheslines.

As consumers are developing a greater conscience about their clothing and textile purchases, we think they should also be thinking about those decisions from more angles – knowing the history and caring about the future of those beloved organic cotton skinny jeans may help you feel even better than you look.

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