The Creative Culture Guide
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For better or worse humans lack the fur and feathers that most animals have to maintain body temperature and buffer themselves from harsh weather.

While arguably not 100% necessary, clothing has been considered a basic human need in many cultures for millennia, and is almost unavoidably necessary for warmth in cool climates. Textiles and clothing are extremely useful in other ways, including privacy and cleanliness.

The modern clothing industry is among the most ecologically and socially harmful; responsible for an estimated 20% of industrial water pollution as well as significant CO2 emissions.

Areas of Concern

Agricultural Standards

While the awareness and production of organic food has grown dramatically in the last decade, organic standards in textile farming are lagging. Less than 1% of cotton is grown organically and much non-organic cotton is being grown from GMO seed with a heavy use of pesticides.

While they are not easy to find and tend to seem expensive, certified organic alternatives can be found for all basic clothing needs.

Water Use

Cotton, the most commonly non-synthetic fibre used in clothing, is very water intensive to grow. It takes an estimated 2,770 litres of water to grow enough cotton for a single T-shirt, or the equivalent of a 2 1/2 supply of drinking water for one person.


Most textile fibres are dyed as part of the process of being turned into garments and many textile dyes are toxic.

In many cases fibres are only dyed as a matter of preference and the issues associated with dyeing can be avoided entirely by simply choosing non dyed fabrics. There are also many natural and non-toxic dyes available.

Labour Ethics

The textile industry has long been notorious for sweatshop labour with dangerous and inhuman working conditions.

If you consider how much time it would take you to make the shirt you're wearing and compare that to the amount of money you paid for it — taking into account the cost of materials, transportation, and retail mark-up — you can get an idea of how fairly the person who made your clothing was compensated for their work.

Choosing locally made and/or certified fair trade clothing avoids participating in the exploitation of textile craftspeople.

Clothing Resources

Teemill Organic Clothing

Clothing company
Circular Fashion.Our new products are made from our old products, which are designed from the start to be sent back when they are worn out. This is the circular economy for clothing. Certified organic, solar powered UK factory. Leading supplier to national...

Nudie Jeans

Housing & structures company
A Swedish denim company that uses 100% organic cotton and offers free repairs for life. Nudie Jeans also resells second hand products, and recycles worn-out products.

Swedish Stockings

Clothing company
We believe the world needs more innovative and environmentally conscious products to lead the way, and so Swedish Stockings was launched. A forerunner in sustainably produced nylon stockings, Swedish Stockings produce beautiful pantyhose from recycled...


Clothing company
Lingerie made in the USA from Tencel and recycled water bottle fabrics.


Clothing company
TOMS was founded in 2006 by Blake Mycoskie. The company designs and sells shoes based on the Argentine alpargata design, eyewear, coffee, apparel, and handbags. When Toms sells a pair of shoes, a new pair of shoes is given to an impoverished child, when...

Why and How to Avoid Toxic Clothing by Dr. Mercola

Clothing article
An overview of how the chemicals used to manufacture clothing may be toxic to your health and the environment (even in "natural" fabrics like cotton) and what alternatives to look for.

Sustainable Apparel Coalition

Clothing organization
The SAC is an alliance of clothing companies aiming to reduce the negative effects of the apparel, footwear, and textile industry through standardized measurement of the ecological and social impact of manufacturing.


Clothing company
Patagonia makes clothing out of organic cotton, recycled down, and other ethically-sound materials, and will repair anything they sell for the flat fee of $5.

Synergy Organic Clothing

Continental clothing company
Synergy Organic Clothing was founded by Kate Fisher during her first trip to Nepal in the fall of 1993. Inspired by the beautiful fabrics and textiles of South East Asia and by the friendships she made there, Kate returned home and began to design clothing...


Continental clothing company
Single source merino wool clothing, Montana-grown and processed. Our dedicated team carefully manages every step of the process, from raw fiber to finished garment. Starting at our ranch in Dillon, Montana, our open-range Montana Merino sheep live between...

Darn Tough Socks

Clothing product
Socks made in Vermont, U.S.A from ethically-sourced Merino Wool (no mulesing). Darn Tough socks are unconditionally guaranteed for life.


Local clothing company
Rawganique makes chemical-free, allergy-free, vegan ethically made sustainable organic clothing and home products.

Movement Global

Local clothing company
Movement Global sells eco clothing made in Canada from sustainable bamboo fabrics.

Ravenhill Homestead

Local clothing product
Ravenhill Homestead is a small farm in rural Metchosin providing local alpaca fiber. They offer raw fiber, pindrafted fiber/wool, and knitted items. Sandy Jenkins

Still Eagle

Local clothing company
Eco shop specializing in hemp, bamboo, organic cotton, and soy clothing, natural and hemp body products, hemp and recycled paper, as well as sustainable, environmentally friendly home products.

Guthrie Farm

Local clothing product
Guthrie farm has been raising sheep for 28 years ago. A recently acquired flock of Shetland sheep is being raised for their exquisite fleeces. They are an ancient breed and have retained their ‘old’ survival instincts. Fleeces are processed on the...

Deerwood Angoras

Local clothing product
Most Angora rabbit wool comes from animals that spend much of their lives in small cages with little chance to exercise or interact with other rabbits. In contrast, the outdoor rabbitry at Deerwood Angoras houses five rabbits and has plenty of daylight...

Inca Dinca Do - [CLOSED]

Local clothing farm
Custom fiber mill and processing in Saanich.