What is organic apparel?

Organic apparel wearers know that what you put on your body is just as important as what you put in your body. It stands to reason that if natural fabrics like cotton, linen and wool come from plants and animals and those sources are coming into contact with pesticides and herbicides, wearing those clothes can be just as hazardous to your health as eating conventionally-grown produce.

Why? Because those chemicals remain in the fibers of the clothing made with any conventionally-grown material and can leave you vulnerable to pesticide and herbicide toxins whenever you put on your favorite outfit.

One of the worst examples of this is cotton. When it’s grown in the conventional way, it’s one of the most heavily sprayed crops in the world – anyone who’s driven or flown over a just-harvested cotton field knows that. Cotton crops account for 25% of insecticides and 10% of pesticides used worldwide and rely on dangerous chemicals that are known or suspected to cause cancer by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Those pesticides and herbicides can also be dangerous to the environment when it seeps into the groundwater and affects the soil and food supply.

What is organic apparel?

So what can you do? The good news is that many fashion designers and forward-thinking clothing manufacturers are coming out with clothes that incorporate organic materials into their fabrics.

In addition to organic cotton, wool, linen and hemp, they’re using fabrics made from unlikely sources…bamboo, soy, corn, even cellulose found in wood pulp (Tencel). The companies that are now offering organic clothing include Nike, Patagonia, and even Sam’s Club and Wal Mart! Wouldn’t it be great to see Project Runway take on this challenge?