In today’s fast-paced world, our lives have become so hectic that most of us go through our daily lives looking past all that is around us. People have become so engrossed in their own ‘world’ that they hardly take a minute to consider how the things they use impact the ‘bigger world’ they live in.
Not that we blame you, we totally understand that your mornings are pretty hectic, and the thoughts in your head when picking an outfit for the day probably aren’t centered on where the fabrics, dyes etc. come from or how it was made, but, in this week’s edition, we will give you some compelling reasons to switch to organic fashion and reconsider your fashion choices.
What does organic fashion means?
Organic fashion refers to clothing and accessories that are made without or with a minimum use of chemicals and limited impact on the environment. Organic fashion brands work with several fabrics and materials, ranging from organic cotton to ‘ahimsa’ silk. A lot of R&D of such brands goes into creating blends of different materials, for example, blending organic cotton with less common fibers like banana, bamboo, soya bean, milk protein, flax fiber etc.
And, just in case you didn’t know, organic fashion extends to jewelry and accessories too. Non- organic jewelry disrupts our environment, but organic fashion brands use eco-friendly materials, like recycled metals and lab-created gemstones. They avoid the use of harmful chemicals to create beautiful and eco-friendly jewelries and accessories.
Why go organic?
Well, there are several reasons for adopting organic fashion:
- Better for the environment: Organic fibers, like organic cotton are grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers or harmful pesticides that are responsible for poisoning wildlife and rivers, as well as killing thousands of people every year. Plus, it is not Genetically Modified. Genetically Modified products pose potential risk to our rich wildlife and human health.
- Low impact dyes are used in organic clothing: Low impact dyes have a higher than average absorption rate, so less water is required in the rinse process and less dye runs off in the water. Also, the organic fashion brands ensure that the chemicals used in the products meet strict requirements on toxicity and biodegradability.
- Better quality products that last longer: Organic clothing and accessories tend to be better crafted than their non-organic counterparts, making them durable, long-lasting and resistant to early wear and tear.
- Good for health: The final products of the organic fashion industry are restricted in terms of the amount of carcinogenic, allergenic or toxic chemical residues. These residues when inhaled or absorbed through the skin may cause allergies, respiratory problems and even cancer.
- Soft fabric that is good for skin: The fabric is safe for sensitive skin and is incredibly soft.
Organic fashion - A Tough Sell
In a world where profit seems to be the only motto of businesses, brands and designers offering organic clothing and accessories fall to the wayside because they are sometimes unable to offer items at competitive prices. Sometimes, consumers also are dismayed about the cost of organic clothing and accessories. While the designers and brands do understand people’s concern regarding the perceived high cost of some organic clothing and accessories, there are some pretty good reasons behind it:
- Time and effort that is worth it!
Organic crops such as organic cotton are free from GMO, chemical pesticides, and fertilizers. Using alternate methods of farming, like organic fertilizers and pesticides, cost more and are more labor intensive because it is done without the use of chemical defoliation aids.
- Fair, always!
Fair trade means better prices and wages, better working conditions, fair terms of trade and local sustainability for the welfare of farmers and workers in the developing world. Organic fashion industry pays sustainable prices that never fall lower than the market price, thus addressing the injustices of conventional trade, which discriminates against the poor and weak producers. The organic fashion industry supports the poorest and weakest by enabling them to improve their position and have more control over their lives. We just gave you another way to contribute to the nation’s economic development, if it really matters to you (and it should).
- Slowly, steadily winning the race
While the organic market is slowly picking up momentum, it still constitutes a very small part of the overall consumer-spending pie. As far as the volume of goods produced is concerned, it is also quite smaller compared to what non-organic fashion product manufacturers churn out on a daily basis, which makes the entire process less cost-effective.
- Made for perfection
Most organic clothing and accessories are made to order, which reduces the wastage in terms of mass production.
Despite organic fashion being on the costlier side, good news is that the price gap is expected to shrink as the market size of the organic fashion grows and the economy of the industry improves; just like organic food, which was very expensive in the beginning. But the more people started trusting it, the more its prices went down. It finally became widespread.
Why Support Organic Fashion - Some Startling Facts about Synthetic Material
The fashion industry is one of the most thriving industries today and has an enormous impact on the environment. Here’s why we should be worried:
- Many clothes that we wear today are made of nylon and polyester, which are made from petrochemicals that pollute the environment and lead to global warming. Since they are non-biodegradable and don’t break down easily, they are difficult to dispose off.
- Viscose is made from wood pulp, which is treated with harmful chemicals such as caustic soda and sulphuric acid.
- Chemical dyes are carcinogenic. In various parts of the world, garments are dyed using toxic chemicals which first affect workers and later flow into water bodies, causing irreversible damage to local ecosystems.
- Almost all Poly-cotton materials, and those ‘easy care’, ‘crease resistant’, cotton, are treated with formaldehyde, which is extremely toxic.
Do you still need more reasons to go organic?
How to support the organic fashion ‘movement’?
- Buy natural fibers: As discussed above, not only natural fibers are better for your body but are good for the environment too. Organic Cotton and bamboo are two examples of natural fibers that make great fabrics and clothes. Apart from that, look for the Soil Association or the GOTS logo when you buy your clothes. Another logo to look out for is Textile Exchange.
- Research the best organic fashion brands: There is a plethora of good organic fashion retailers in India out there offering an amazing organic fashion range. Do your research and learn more about them.
- Spread awareness: Organic fashion is not a political idea; it’s an endeavor to help our planet continue to thrive and make us and our future generations healthier and happier. Spreading awareness is the best thing you can do to support the ‘Organic fashion movement’.
What makes organic fashion the best is its commitment and motivation towards offering clothing or accessories that benefit many beings at large while treading on the earth as ‘lightly’ as possible. So wear your Organic fashion with pride, knowing exactly what is and isn't involved in it and how your ‘choice’ benefits the planet and all of its inhabitants.