In an effort to sustainably transform my outdated closet and take it in the direction I want it to go, I ordered myself another plaid shirt. How many handmade in USA, 100% cotton flannels does one woman need anyway?
I was thinking two is a good start.
I went back to Tradlands since I am still very much obsessed with and loving my first purchase from them. This one is not quite the same home run – I think these colors aren’t as great on me – but beautiful nonetheless. And soft. And well made.
I am still getting used to rocking the no make-up look so instead of posing (looking all stylish) I went with a peace sign! Because I believe in peace: peaceful marches, a peaceful home and killing ‘em with kindness.
With the flannel, I am wearing made in USA cotton tights from Ann Taylor, which I got at the outlet for 10 dollars, and my new Indonesian not-so-eco Ecco sneakers.
Short blog post this week. Check out Tradlands if you haven’t.
There’s nothing better than ordering something online and being pleasantly surprised by the quality, is there? So often we find ourselves in the opposite situation.
Lucky for me, buying mostly made in USA, my latest purchases have all been grand. That Tradlands’ flannel this winter, all the US-made cloth diapers for baby, and now, a green, cotton tee from American Giant.
I got this t-shirt on a bit of impulse, adding it to the cart as my husband was ordering two more of American Giant’s 100% cotton “fleece” workman’s jackets ($89). He had one and wanted another two (in other colors) simply because they fit great, work great, and look great. Though they call it fleece, which traditionally is made of polyester, these are made with a long fiber cotton that holds up during the yarning and knitting process with minimal breakage and produces a heavyweight, durable fabric. (And no plastic microfibers to worry about like with plastic fleece!)
My Premium Crew T is made from 100% slub cotton, sourced in the USA. “Slub” was originally considered a defect, caused by knotting in the yarn during the knitting process resulting in a uniquely textured look and feel. Slubs tend to be flimsy and transparent but the fabric used here is thicker than regular slub and not see-thru at all (yay!). At the same time it allows the shirt to actually be quite form fitted. I love it. It’s well made.
There’s also a surprise seam on the back that adds a bit of interest.
I envision wearing this tee with my beige blazer, black skinnies, Oka-B black flats and a necklace when I head back to work. For now, I am wearing it casually, out and about with baby. I wore it to the Overland Expo in Flagstaff a couple of weekends ago, and got some cute pictures of it.
Yes, I am holding an unsustainable one-time-use Sprite bottle (thirsty!), but I’m making up for it with my all US-made clothes and baby’s fashion is all second-hand. We did recycle that bottle at least! ;)
This comfy classic sells for $36.50 at AmericanGiant.com and they’ve got free returns! (I’m wearing a size S, I’m 5′ 8.5″, 140 lbs.)
My sister suggested a long time ago that I write something about fabrics. She asked: When it comes to shopping planet-friendly, which fabrics should I go for?
Here’s what I’ve come up with, based on internet research, articles I’ve read and some personal eco ideas that make sense to me :)
Step 1: Go for natural fibers
Why? Because in thousands of years when we’re no longer here, the fabric will have degraded, posing little or no harm to the planet. A fabric made from a plant or tree is CO2 neutral, if done right. It absorbs carbon it as it grows, releases it as it is cut down and when a new tree grows up in its place, carbon is absorbed again.
Where? Well, cotton is everywhere you shop, while the Internet will most likely be your best bet for materials like hemp and modal. I see these fabrics more and more when I browse, often on eco-conscious shopping websites.
Whoa! Rayon is a common natural fiber used in all types of stretchy materials. It is made from wood pulp, but unfortunately due to the heavy chemical processing it takes to make the fabric, it is considered semi-syntethic (see step 2). Rayon is also worrisome as it is often linked to deforestation! There is no need to cut down our rainforests when we’ve got so many other natural choices.
Step 2: Poly-blends are the enemy
Why? Well, they’re made from oil (yuck!) and wearing plastic is not cool when you think about it. These fabrics do not biodegrade – ever. Recent studies have shown that polybased fabrics release up to 4,500 microscopic plastic fibers each time they’re washed, polluting our waterways and oceans. As fish ingest them, the fibers accumulate and act as a “sponge” for toxic material. (Eat that fish later, and you just ate plastic microfibers seasoned with toxins.)
Which?Polyesters, elastane, nylon and fleece. (Fleece being the worst microfiber polluter!)
Where? These fabrics are everywhere! Watch out!
Whoa! Recycled polyester has become popular lately, and although it has a lower initial environmental footprint, it still releases microfibers when washed, making it a bad eco-fabric. If you already own poly-blend/synthetic fiber clothing (which we all do) air out instead of washing as often as possible.
Step 3: Always look for sustainably-made fabrics
Why? Because the more eco-friendly – the better!
Which? Organic cotton is a great choice. Grown without pesticides and fertilizers, it’s safer than regular cotton for the farmers, the lands and the consumers. Modal is generally sourced from sustainably harvested beechwood trees. Hemp and bamboo are fast growing plants, and generally labeled very sustainable. All these fabrics are (95%+) recyclable.
How? Look for stamps (like Oeko-tex or GOTS) and descriptions of how the fabric’s material was grown and harvested. If the store includes a sustainability statement – that’s a good sign. And look for locally grown, domestic fabrics!
Where? Most likely you’ll find the most sustainable fabrics and clothes online, hopefully with details on where the fabric was sourced and how it was prepared (dyes, labor practices, etc.) too.
Step 4: Shop second hand
Why? Second hand shopping has a negligible environmental footprint compared to buying something new!
Which? Go for natural fibers again so washing is a weekly task not a weekly ocean polluter. If you are into wool or leather goods, second hand is the way to shop them! Both are materials with a heavy environmental footprint, especially leather with the toxic tanning practices, heavy chemical use and the questionable treatment of animals. If it’s already worn, your impact becomes minimal. Isn’t that awesome?
Where? At your local resale store, in your mom’s closet, or using online services like Thread Up. Vintage stores and markets are always fun too.
That’s it! Quite easy, right?!
Remember, clothes are “want to haves” not “need to haves” (most of the time) and any new garment you buy impacts the planet negatively even when it is made from, by definition, an eco-friendly fabric. Shop wisely my friends.
Post shared on eco-gites.blogspot.com and skipthebag.blogspot.com/