We all say that we ‘care’ about the environment – but do we actively do anything about it? We all have to get dressed every day so what about looking out for ‘socially concious’ clothing in your local stores? By looking at the labels on the clothing you buy nowadays you can show your concern for the environment and help towards the ‘global’ commitment to ecology.
Firstly, LINEN is a naturally occurring vegetable fibre that comes from the stem of the flax plant. Linen absorbs moisture easily and is therefore very comfortable to wear.It offers superb insulation properties keeping you cool in the heat and retaining body warmth when it’s cold. If you have ever wondered why linen is prone to creasing as well as having slight imperfections in the fibre, it is because it is a NATURAL fibre. This all adds to its authentic appeal. Linen is in fact the strongest of the vegetable fibres and has 2-3 times the strength of cotton , which is why linen tablecloths have been handed down from generation to generation (just a bit of trivia!).
BAMBOO is a naturally occurring fibre that literally grows like ‘weeds’, and because it is so easy to grow, it doesn’t require chemical input such as fertilizers and pesticides, making it a truly environmentally friendly fibre! Bamboo is extremely comfortable as it absorbs up to four times more moisture than cotton and is naturally anti-bacterial and allergy free. Bamboo fibre exhibits luxurious lustre and therefore carries colour well. Also, because bamboo is so tall, it produces a longer fibre – making for a cleaner surface fabric that is naturally soft. Bamboo is a really modern age fibre that offers the wearer comfort and luxury whilst being naturally anti-bacterial, and perhaps more importantly, is extremely environmentally friendly and a renewable, sustainable raw material.
Woolworths is an example of a store that has embraced the term ‘socially concious’ clothing and during this past summer used a lot of bamboo, organic cotton, and a mixture of cotton and bamboo in the makeup of their garments.
Global sales in ORGANIC COTTON increase by 35% per year, and with organic clothing, food and linen no pesticides are used. 100% organic cotton is made from the finest hand picked cotton in fields that are free of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. By using and buying organic cotton we help to promote the organic farming of cotton and increase the world’s supply of organic cotton, thus contributing towards a less polluted and safer environment for all. There are obviously international standards that have to be adhered to to ensure a more environmentally friendly product.
COTTON SILK is a blend obviously of cotton and silk which are both naturally occurring fibres. Cotton offers comfort, warmth and moisture absorption, while silk gives lightness and luxury to the garment. Silk is a continuous thread and cotton is spun from short fibres – so this gives the fabric a subtle surface texture, giving the fabric a naturally authentic appearance.
Look out for cotton fabrics that contain a minimum of 5% organic cotton – that way you will also be helping to promote the farming of cotton without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides – therefore contributing towards a less polluted and safer environment for all.You can also look out for PURE SILK that can be hand washed instead of dry cleaned (saving money as well as the environment!).
SILK, CASHMERE and WOOL can be used on their own in garments or can be blended – all three form part of the world’s most luxurious natural fibres and offer exceptional warmth, with both silk and cashmere being lightweight, warm and soft at the same time.
Shopping carefully for accessories can also make a difference. For example you can choose bracelets in selected woods and there are many necklaces and hair accessories made in natural materials like wood and raffia. Likewise, straw bags are handcrafted using natural fibres.
Hot days will get hotter – so to guard your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays, go for sunglasses that offer 100% protection against both UVA and UVB rays. In 2004 £600 million worth was lost through people across the globe ‘boycotting’ products that were not environmentally friendly. However, in 2005 this figure rose five times this amount! Studies showed that 90%of people agreed that products should be ethically, socially and environmentally aware. So it’s up to us to do our bit for the environment….