The Creative Culture Guide [BETA]
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Clothing

Made with organic cotton or other sustainable materials
Materials
&
Manufacturing
Responsible resource stewardship, manufacturing, and recycling.

For better or for 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 is 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 for a lot of other things 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 with less the 1% of cotton grown organically and much non-organic cotton being grown from GMO seed with 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 fiber used in clothing, is very water intensive to grow. It takes an estimated 2,770 liters of water to grow enough cotton for a single T-shirt (The equivalent of a 2 and 1/2 supply of drinking water for one person).

Dyes

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

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

Labor Ethics

The textile industry has long been notorious for sweatshop labor 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 payed for it — taking into account the cost of materials, transpiration, and retail markup — you can get an idea of how fairly the person who made your clothing was compensated for their work.

Choose locally made and/or certified fair trade clothing to avoid participating in the exploitation of textile craftspeople.

Clothing Resources

Patagonia


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.

TOMS


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...

Sustainable Apparel Coalition


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.

Nudie Jeans


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.

Why and How to Avoid Toxic Clothing by Dr. Mercola


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 lok for.

TreeSisters Organic Clothing


Welcome to The TreeSisters store. A percent of funds from these T-Shirts plant trees in Brazil, Kenya, Cameroon, Mozambique, Madagascar, India and Nepal. You will grow mangroves, forest corridors and cloud forest, restore aquifers and estuaries, protect...

Synergy Organic Clothing


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...

Darn Tough Socks


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

Mountain Equipment Co-op


Mountain Equipment Co-op sells outdoor gear. They use 100% organic cotton in all MEC-branded clothing, repair or replace defective products for a reasonable fee (or often free of charge), and have undertaken a number of environmental and social initiatives.

Vancouver Island Fibershed


Vancouver Island Fibershed (VIF) is establishing a network between farmers and fibre consumers to build a local textile economy. VIF is part of the growing Fibreshed movement in North America, Europe and Australia that supports small-scale sustainable...

Rawganique


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

Still Eagle


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.

Movement Global


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

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