Organic clothing is clothing made from materials raised in on in or grown in compliance with organic agricultural standards. Organic clothing may be composed of cotton, jute, silk, ramie, or wool.[unreliable source?] Retailers charge more for organic clothing because the source of the clothing's fibre are free from herbicides, pesticides, or genetically modified seeds.[unreliable source?]
Authentic organic fabrics and clothing can help the environment in a number of ways, such as:
- Use of pesticides and herbicides are not required[unreliable source?]
- Pesticide or herbicide residues are not entered accidentally into the environment
- Humans and animals are not exposed to pesticides or herbicides
- When the fabric is discarded, pesticides and herbicides are not returned to the earth in landfill, or enter into recycling process.
Cotton covers 2.5% of the world's cultivated land yet uses 16% of the world's insecticides, more than any other single major crop. [unreliable source?] It can take almost a 1/3 pound of synthetic fertilizers to grow one pound of raw cotton in the US, and it takes just under one pound of raw cotton to make one t-shirt.
Many high street retailers[examples needed] market organic clothing ranges that contain chemicals from the dyeing to bleaching process, which is inconsistent with the idea of organic clothing. Many companies sell clothing made from bamboo, which is commonly labeled as "organic", however this is a false statement. Bamboo fabric is typically chemically manufactured by “cooking” the bamboo leaves and woody shoots in strong chemical solvents such as sodium hydroxide and carbon disulfide, in a process also known as hydrolysis alkalization combined with multi-phase bleaching. Both sodium hydroxide and carbon disulfide have been linked to serious health problems. This finished material is similar to rayon and modal, which are more accurate terms of describing bamboo fabrics.[unreliable source?] Criticism also concerns the high cost of the products.[unreliable source?]
- Begley, Ed (2008). Living Like Ed: A Guide to the Eco-Friendly Life. Clarkson Potter. p. 197. ISBN 978-0-307-39643-3.
- Plunkett, Jack W. Plunkett's apparel and textiles industry almanac. Plunkett Research Ltd. pp. 48–49. ISBN 978-1-59392-110-1.
- Martínez-Torres, Maria Elena (2006). Organic coffee: sustainable development by Mayan farmers. Ohio University Press. pp. 119–120. ISBN 978-0-89680-247-6.
- EJF. (2007). The deadly chemicals in cotton. Environmental Justice Foundation in collaboration with Pesticide Action Network UK: London, UK. ISBN No. 1-904523-10-2.
- Lauresn, S. E., Hansen, J., Knudsen, H. H., Wenzel, H., Larsen, H. F., & Kristensen, F. M. (2007). EDIPTEX: Environmental assessment of textiles. Danish Environmental Protection Agency, working report 24.
- "Bamboo: Facts behind the Fiber".
- Schor, Juliet (2003). Sustainable planet: solutions for the twenty-first century. Beacon Press. p. 59. ISBN 978-0-8070-0455-5.