Where fashion and health intersect: organic clothing

If you find yourself questioning whether fashion has any connection to health, stop, because it does. Cotton, for example, which goes through a series of chemical processes before it becomes a fiber used in clothing, can wind up posing a risk to your health.

As awareness of this risk grows, some companies have begun putting more focus on the production of organic textiles.

There are many factors that go into the choices we make when it comes to clothing, but at the same time, we often forget to check whether the outfits we buy have synthetic fibers that make them less able to “breathe” or soak up sweat. Many people go straight for the price tag, checking to see how much the item of clothing costs, rather than to see what the item is made of. In neglecting our health when it comes to choosing our clothing, just how much risk are we taking?

Unfortunately, just reading the label to make sure the item of clothing you are about to buy is made of 100 percent cotton is not enough, because what you really need to understand are the processes that the cotton used in this clothing has gone through. Much of the cotton used in clothing these days has been sprayed with pesticides while still in the fields even before it is put through the whitening process. The whitening process is a rigorous one that uses heavy chemical bleaching. But that’s not all that happens to the cotton before it makes its way to your clothing. Then there is the coloring process, which in the end means that this cotton has to go through yet another tough chemical process before it makes its way to your wardrobe as a comfortable t-shirt or pretty blouse.

In recent years, however, the textile sector as a whole has started to put more focus on natural fibers and textiles, especially as awareness about such issues grows. There are now many companies producing organic cotton. Clothing is being made with textiles created from nettles and soybeans. There is also the wide range of textiles relying on such natural resources as beech, bamboo, pure cotton and, of course, linen.

In the meantime, the concept is being promoted heavily at trade fairs, conferences, exhibitions and fashion shows throughout Europe . At the same time, as the focus on natural fibers increases there is also more of a focus on avoiding leather and other animal-based products used in the fashion world.

Ecologically minded clothing

As awareness of such matters grows, the fashion world is signing off on more and more positive developments in this field. People have learned to stay as far away as possible from clothing items that contain too many added chemicals or unhealthy ingredients. This “green trend” is pushing many labels to pay greater attention to the environment and human health. One example of this is Nike, which has taken steps to limit the greenhouse gases released in the production of its athletic shoes. Mavi Jeans is now producing jeans with fibers that have not gone through the chemical bleaching process. Also, recyclable buttons are being used on jeans from Levi.

Even Hollywood stars have gotten into the act lately when it comes to ecologically minded clothing. Jane Fonda, Charlize Theron, Sarah Jessica Parker and Sienna Miller are all known for carrying purses made from natural fibers. T-shirts boasting sparkling touches of gold and silver are not seen as often these days, as the stars opt for natural t-shirts that have not gone through chemical processing.

Baby outfits

Actually, ecologically conscious clothing first made its mark in the baby and children’s clothing sector. Textiles that don’t irritate the skin, are able to breathe and are also good at keeping warmth in on cold days became popular with both producers and customers in this sector. The popularity of this ecologically minded clothing quickly spread to pregnancy clothing and sportswear. Of course, clothing made using these special textiles is usually more expensive than other clothing. But just remember: Nothing is as precious as your health!

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