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 Organic Cotton Clothing  
  • benefits     • textile development      • where to buy organic cotton clothing
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Cotton is the world's most popular fabric.
 

Soft and comfortable, it's used for almost every type of clothing. Socks, shirts, sweaters, dresses, jackets, sleepwear, sportswear and more - all begin in lush green fields of cotton.

Traditional cotton farming, however, is hard on the environment.
   

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Popular demand for cotton textiles, and competition among producers, has seen a big change in the last two generations - the increased use of pesticide. Cotton is the most pesticide-dependent crop in the world, accounting for 25% of all pesticide use.

These chemicals are taking a toll on our environment and human health as a whole.
Every T-shirt made of conventional cotton requires 1/4 pound of harmful chemicals.



According to the USDA, in one year alone over 50 million pounds of pesticides were used on U.S. cotton fields. Pesticide and fertilizer use on cotton has been linked to ground and surface water contamination, and the pollution of drinking water. In California, cotton ranks third in the state for total number of pesticide-related illness. Fish and wildlife and also impacted, with pesticides causing migration die-offs and diminished reproductive capacity.
Organically raised cotton is gradually winning over new ground both on the farm and in the marketplace. No toxins or synthetic fertilizers are used. Organic cotton is produced without the use of harsh chemical bleaches or dyes, and is allergy free. Natural fertilizers, compost and soil amendments are used, and advances in natural pest control, such as ladybugs which destroy harmful insects, have helped make raising organic cotton a viable enterprise. Organic cotton clothing, unheard of a few years ago, is now available in many stores and online businesses.

A wide variety of products made from organically grown cotton is now available: shirts and pants, socks, underwear, skirts and blouses, sheets and pillowcases, towels and bathrobes. The range of styles can be somewhat limited, but new styles are being developed to keep pace with the growing demand for organic cotton clothing.

Colored dyes
are still a problem, even with organically grown cotton. Dyes are toxic chemicals, and their use and disposal have harmful effects on the environment. Manufacturers are aware of these concerns and are developing new methods of coloring cotton are being developed to address this problem.
Organically colored cotton is being developed to address this problem, and earthtones are now available which use no dyes whatsoever. Today, colored cotton is grown "on the stem" in shades of brown, reddish brown, green and yellow. Color-grown cotton:
• reduces the use of synthetic dyes
• the cost of naturally colored cotton is estimated at 20  to 40% lower than chemically dyed cotton
• suitable for people with chemically sensitivities
• has a noticeably soft texture
• color-grown cotton is not dyed, so it doesn’t fade; the color will actually deepen when you wash it.
Recycled Cotton is another more earth-friendly choice in cotton clothing. Recycled cotton is cotton fabric which has been made from recovered cotton that would otherwise be cast off during the spinning, weaving or cutting process. A trade name for recycled cotton is Eco Fibre; there are no harsh chemicals used in the processing of this fabric.

The clothing business is big business, and there is big resistance to change from chemically-dependent processes to organic processes of clothing manufacture. The bottom line is demand. Manufacturers will do what the consumer dictates, and so the change to environmentally responsible, organic cotton clothing begins with you the consumer.

    

 
Sources  
Online sources for organic cotton clothing:

 
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Recycleatee - Organic clothing for the eco-friendly.  Wear, Recycle, Reuse.
Faerie's Dance - women's fashions in organic cotton, hemp, tencel and soy
The Oko Box - latest styles in organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, tencel, soy
Live Life Organics - organic clothing with positive messages, tagless/ hangtags, water-based inks.
Onno Textiles - organic cotton, bamboo and hemp t-shirts
Kasper Organics - organic cotton clothing, hemp clothing and accessories
Baby Naturopathics Inc - embroidered organic baby clothing, accessories and toys. Free shipping available.
Butterfly Maidens - unbleached and naturally dyed organic clothing for women and children.
Cultivate Kids - organic infant and toddler t-shirts with unique positive phrases
VivaLocaWear - progressive organic t-shirts for students and peace activists
Shanghai Fashionorganic - organic clothing and fabric from China - bamboo, organic cotton, hemp, soybean
Kook Wear - environmentally friendly clothing for action sports enthusiasts
Nubius Organics - adorable apparel, toys & accessories for babies & kids
Go Natural Baby - Organic cotton baby and children's clothes, bedding, and maple cribs.
Maternity Jeans - Find your organic cotton maternity jeans and clothes!
Tees 4 Trees - Earth-friendly apparel - celebrating nature and supporting the Arbor Day Foundation.
Organic by Nature - Affordable organic children's clothing, skin care, toys. Free shipping, samples.
Byrnt Organics - All-organic vintage surf inspired men's/women's denim and knits
Essere Organics - We offer the finest range of natural, Eco-friendly, and organic products.
Organic Baby Clothing - Boutique quality organic baby clothes and gift sets.
Jute and Jackfruit - Handmade, designer organic cotton women's dresses, tops, jackets and more.