Welcome to the
Green Machine -- Organic Fashion is the trend for the future...
Think Green Fashion ...
Organic Clothing Wholesalers
Organic Information Portals, Associations and Guides
Organic Fashion Education
Organic Fabric Suppliers
We all can understand why designing,
producing, and wearing organic clothing is important to the
future or our world. However, do we actually understand the
fundamentals behind organic textiles and organic fashion.
In all honesty, I personally still have much to
learn. Although I have done a small bit of research, I
still do not have my arms fully around the true meaning of
"organic". I guess this is why I am a
garmento and not a
scientist. Anyway, at first glance, one would think that a
garment made of 100% cotton (made from a plant) would be
organic. Well that is not always the case. On this page, I
will talk about organic materials in regard to fashion, but
I will also touch upon farming and agriculture. Certainly,
without farming and agriculture we could not have cotton nor
wool (organic or other wise).
My writing below is a compilation of
many things. Partly my own wording, but much of the terms
come from the Wikipedia website (http://en.wikipedia.org).
You will be able to tell the difference because the terms
from Wikipedia, will sound more "intelligent" then the
portion that I have written... Well, lets get started.
Organic cotton is cotton
that is grown without pesticides
from plants which are not genetically
High levels of
agrochemicals are used in the production of non-organic,
conventional cotton. Cotton production uses more chemicals per
unit area than any other crop and accounts in total for 16% of
the world's pesticides. The chemicals used in the processing of
cotton also pollute the air and surface waters. Residual
chemicals may also irritate consumers' skin.
uses crop rotation
instead of agrochemicals and artificial fertilisear,
and biological pest control
instead of pesticides.
Though organic cotton has less environmental impact than
conventional cotton, it costs more to produce.
Critics of organic
farming in general point out that genetic modification of crops
can have environmental benefits. Crops can be engineered to have
a higher yields, allowing smaller plots to be dedicated to
farming. It also can reduce crops' reliance on pesticides,
making engineered plants potentially more suitable for
no-pesticide techniques than conventional varieties.
Organic clothing is clothing that is made from materials
that are raised or grown without the use of chemicals in the
form of pesticides, herbicides
or other chemicals.
retailers market organic clothing ranges that contain many
chemicals from dyes to bleaches
and other chemicals to aid transportion
many thousands of miles from their manufacture in places
such as India and China. We
suggest you contact your government for the most current
standards and requirements regarding labeling and marketing of
organic materials. Authentic organic fabrics and
clothing can help the environment in a number of ways.
- manufacture of
chemicals is not required
are not entered accidentally into the environment
- Humans and animals
are not exposed to chemicals
- when the
fabric is finished with chemicals are not returned to the
earth in landfill, or enter into
Sustainable fashion is
fashion that is designed to be environmentally
friendly. It is part of the larger trend of "ethical
fashion," and according to the May 2007
Vogue appears not to be
a short-term trend but one could last multiple seasons.
(In my opinion, it is best to become a perminent trend).
While environmentalism used to be manifest in fashion through a
percentage of sales being donated to a charitable
cause, fashion designers have recently adopted the idea
of sustainability, using
more environmentally-friendly materials and methods in clothing
say that they are trying to incorporate these sustainable
practices into modern clothing, rather than producing "dusty,
Sustainable fashion is typically more expensive than clothing
produced by conventional methods.
Here at Apparel Search, we feel that helping the environment is
worth any prices. At the popularity of organic and sustainable
clothing grows, you will see an increasing number of
Hollywood celebrities become
associated with sustainable fashion.
It appears that the organic fashion trend can never hurt the PR
of the celebs.
Now lets talk a little bit about Natural Fibers.
Natural fibers include those made from plant (or vegitable),
animal and mineral sources. Natural fibers can be classified
according to their origin. Although they are from
natural sources, not all natural fibers can be termed as organic
fibers. For example, cotton is a natural fiber (coming
from a plant). However, not all cotton fiber can be classified
as "organic cotton". You will need to read up on the most
current requirements and labeling instructions.
Reference about Natural
Vegetable fibers or plant
fibers are generally comprised mainly of cellulose.
Examples include cotton, linen, jute, flax, ramie, sisal, and
hemp. Cellulose fibers serve in the manufacture of paper and
cloth. This fiber can be further categorized into the
- Seed Fiber : Fibers
collected from seeds or seed cases. e.g. cotton and kapok.
- Leaf Fiber:
Fibers collected from leaves. e.g. sisal and agave.
- Bast Fiber or skin
fiber: Fibers are collected from the skin or bast
surrounding the stem of their respective plant. These fibers
have higher tensile strength than other fibers. Therefore,
these fibers are used for durable yarn, fabric, packaging,
and paper. Some examples are jute, kenaf, industrial hemp,
ramie, rattan, soybean fiber, and even vine fibers
and banana fibers.
- Fruit Fibers:
Fibers are collected from the fruit of the plant, e.g.
coconut (coir) fiber.
- Stalk Fibers:
Fibers are actually the stalks of the plant. E.g. straws of
wheat, rice, barley, and other crops including bamboo and
grass. Tree wood is also such a fiber.
Animal fibers are
generally comprise proteins; examples include silk, wool,
angora, mohair, and alpaca.
- Animal hair
(wool or hairs): Fiber or wool taken from animals or
hairy mammals. e.g. sheep's wool, goat hair (Cashmere),
alpaca hair (alpaca), horse hair, etc.
- Silk fiber:
Fiber collected from dried saliva of bugs or insects
during the preparation of cocoons. Examples include
silk from silk worms.
- Avian fiber:
Fibers from birds, e.g. feathers and feather fiber.
learn a little more about organic matter and related terms
Organic matter may refer simply to matter which was once
part of a living organism or produced by a living organism.
This definition is synonymous with biotic
material (Unprocessed materials may be called
biotic material). The use of biotic materials, and
processed biotic materials (bio-based material), over
synthetics is popular with those who are environmentally
conscious because such materials are usually biodegradable,
renewable, and the processing is commonly understood and has
minimal environmental impact.
A bio-based material is simply an engineering
material made from substances derived from living matter.
These materials are sometimes referred to as biomaterials,
but this word also has another meaning. Strictly the
definition could include many common materials such as wood
and leather, but it typically refers to modern materials
that have undergone more extensive processing.
Natural organic matter (NOM) is broken down organic
matter that comes from plants and animals in the
environment. NOM is a collective term, assigned to the
realm of all of this broken down organic matter. Basic
structures are created from cellulose, tannin, cutin, and
lignin, along with other various proteins, lipids, and
All living and growing
matter on this planet contains organic components. Different
types of matter include humans, animals, plants, and
microorganisms. After the living matter dies, it decomposes.
The organic matter from them and their excretions is broken
down through an unknown reactive process into natural
organic matter. Larger molecules of NOM can be formed from
the polymerization of different parts of already broken down
matter. The relative size, shape, and composition of a
molecule of NOM is very random. "NOM can vary greatly,
depending on its origin, transformation mode, age, and
existing environment, thus its bio-physico-chemical
functions and properties vary with different environments."
In addition to the fashion industry understanding the
importance of living in a more organic way. The agriculture
industry understands the importance as well. As members of
the fashion industry, it is important for us to understand a
little bit about organic farming. After all, doesn't
leather come from animals. Doesn't wool grow on animals?
If you were not sure, the answer is yes...
Organic farming is a form of agriculture which excludes
the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, plant
growth regulators, livestock feed additives, and genetically
modified organisms. As far as possible, organic farmers
rely on crop rotation, integrated pest management, crop
risidue, compost and mechanical cultivation to maintain soil
productivity and control pests. Organic agricultural
methods are internationally regulated and legally enforced
by many nations, based in large part on the standards set by
Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and
international umbrella organization for organic
organizations. Approximately 310,000 square kilometres (75
million acres) worldwide are now grown organically
Organic certification is a certification process for
producers of organic food and other organic agriculture
products. In general, any business directly involved in food
production can be certified, including seed suppliers,
farmers, food processors, retailers and restuarants.
Requirements vary from country to country, and generally
involve a set of production standards for growing, storage,
processing, packaging and shipping that include:
- avoidance of most syntheic
chemical inputs (e.g. fertilizer, pesticides,
antibiotics, food additives, etc), genetically modified
organisms, irradiation, and the use of sewage sludge;
- use of farmland that has been
free from chemicals for a number of years (often, three
- keeping detailed written
production and sales records (audit trail);
- maintaining strict physical
separation of organic products from non-certified
- undergoing periodic on-site
In some countries, certification is
overseen by the government, and commercial use of the term
organic is legally restricted. Certified organic
producers are also subject to the same agricultural, food
safety and other government regulation that apply to
Apparel Search is NOT going to list
on this page the exact details, rules, or regulations
involved in growing organic fibers, producing organic
garments, or labeling product. In all honesty, the reason
that we do not wish to list the requirements is because we
currently do not know all of the requirements.... In
addition, the Apparel Search website has international
viewers, and each country may have different requirements.
Also, when rules change, we can not guarantee to list the
most current requirements. Anyway, we can not offer the
exact rules regarding the labeling of organic apparel etc.
You will need to do your own investigation to learn more
about the most current rules from the government agency in
your country. Below are some links that we think will help
point you in the write direction so that you can learn more
about organic clothing and other types of organic products.
The information on this
page has been compiled by the
Company. In addition to personally writing much of
this article we have pieced together various portions of
several definitions presented on the Wikipedia website
(January 2008). We have also utilized other resources to
compile the above article. You can learn more about
Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org
and learn more about Apparel Search at our
about Apparel Search
section. In addition to compiling the above definition -
article, Apparel Search has modified the information
slightly to make it more appropriate for the Apparel
Industry. If you find any information to be incorrect
or out dated, please do not hesitate to let us know.
Please note that this information is to be used at your own
risk. We do not guarantee the accuracy of scientific
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