First, the whole world was seduced by the organic food trend, the next was "green" cosmetics. Now it's time for the fashionable closet. Today the prefix "eco" embodies one of the most striking fashion trends. And if you're not ready to become a vegetarian and don't want to join Greenpeace's promotions, you can help save the planet by dressing up in clothes made from organic fabrics. Plus, wearing organic clothes (in spanish: ropa ecológica) is a new fashion trend that's gaining momentum every day.
The origins of green fashion (moda ecológica)...
The origins of the green trend in fashion can be found in the 70s, when hippies hungry for freedom and love appeared. They became the "ancestors" of eco-fashion, having formulated a new postulate: naturalness is the real fashion. Easily and with a smile, they created the momentum from which global trends such as a healthy lifestyle and healthy eating were born. And fashion, as a vivid indicator of social processes, simply could not do otherwise than go through the green revolution.
In the eco-fashion chronicle, designer Linda Loudermilk is named the pioneer. In 2002, it was she who presented a complete green collection to the public. The public applauded, which means that the eco trend has received a green light in the fashion world. Brand after brand began to give the green theme a place in their collections. Organic clothing, footwear and accessories, made from pesticide-free cotton, linen, bamboo and hemp, as well as organic materials, began to appear in the collections of Stella McCartney, Giorgio Armani , Donna Karan, Levi's, Timberland, Nike , H&M and other brands.
Perhaps Linda Loudermilk's company was more a public relations effort than a sincere desire to preserve the planet's resources, but it worked. Today, no major brand can ignore the green trend and, along with the traditional New York fashion week, The Green Shows "green week" is taking place. Let's take a closer look at what green fashion is ... And is it worth becoming a fan?
Who gets the green prefix?
The "material" side of the problem
The organic garments are made only from natural and organic raw materials grown without pesticides, insecticides and other harmful components to health. Today, for the production of organic fabrics, well known organic fibers are used, cotton, linen and wool, as well as easily renewable and not scarce plants, nettle, bamboo, algae, hemp, eucalyptus, corn. When it comes to organic wool, this means that the sheep and other animals are also combed by hand, cleaned with mild detergents and cared for in every possible way.
In addition, clothes, shoes and accessories are made from recycled synthetic waste products (car tires, plastic bottles).
We recommend the use of handmade clothing (knitted or hand-stitched), the use of second-hand and vintage clothing, as well as the alteration of old things that use fabric, fibers and metal.
Custom-made clothing has a special place in eco-fashion, since it is considered to be of better quality and therefore the consumer wears it longer, which reduces the need to buy new things.
Global Organic Textile Standard
At least 70% of the natural wool, cotton, linen and silk fibers must come from "ORGANIC sources
Green manufacturing process
In the process of processing materials, only natural dyes are used, for example, natural mineral powders, pollen, berry juices and others. Chemical dyes and bleaches are completely excluded. Furthermore, the ethical aspect of the production problem plays an important role: the principle of Fair Trade (fair treatment of each participant in the production process). All production must comply with international labour standards, which imply the observance of workers' rights, the prohibition of child exploitation and the prohibition of child labour.
Materials that will not pass the green face check
Natural leather and fabrics of animal origin (all types of leather, ivory, fur, whale skin, horsehair and others) are not used in the production of ecological clothing and footwear. For example, when making shoes, natural materials are replaced by artificial ones, e.g., vegetable leather, which is obtained from the juice of the Hevea plant (from the Amazon).
Concern for the environment
Ecological clothing must comply with the concept of biodegradability, that is, it must decompose (rot) so as not to soil the planet. Clothing and accessories made from recycled materials (this can be recycled and synthetic) are also required to reduce the level of pollution on the planet. Therefore, shoes can appear in car tires and a fashion bag in plastic bottles.
Green price, fair price
The prefix "eco" implies that the manufacturer sets fair prices for goods that correspond to the actual production costs and are not intended to generate excessive profits.
Eco-fabrics: who's in what
Ecological fabrics have very attractive "useful properties", however, a useful property as common as hypoallergenicity must be highlighted in the foreground. In fact, today already 20% of the inhabitants of large cities suffer from various allergic reactions, and this figure is growing rapidly. According to doctors, one of the reasons is clothing made of fabrics that are saturated with chemicals. Therefore, if you are among the ranks of allergic people, the ecological trend is definitely your trend. Now let's classify fabrics by their useful properties.
Organic cotton is perhaps the most versatile and popular organic fabric among designers. Thanks to the gentle harvesting and processing, organic cotton has a higher quality and lighter structure, and is also very pleasant to touch. It is very comfortable to wear clothes made of such cotton: in summer it is cool, in winter it is cozy. That is why it is the most used material for making adventure clothes and surf clothes. However, it is difficult to distinguish organic cotton at first sight from production cotton, and it is important, since according to Greenpeace, 20% of the pesticides and 22% of the insecticides produced worldwide are used on cotton.
Bamboo fabric is favorably distinguished by the same respect for the environment, softness, resistance and lightness. It is also able to maintain optimal heat transfer and protect against UV radiation and bacteria.
Linen fabric has antibacterial properties, helps improve blood circulation in the body and increases vitality. Due to its excellent hygroscopic properties, linen is especially popular in summer collections.
Natural silk is very light and pleasant to the touch, can simultaneously dry and warm the skin (ideal for people with excessive sweating) and is also useful for people with circulatory disorders.
The wool has excellent protection properties against the cold, retains heat well and the cashmere fabric is surprisingly light and pleasant to touch. To be considered ecological, it has to come from sheep that have been treated exquisitely, with very strict standards in its handling.
Nettle fabric has good resistance to wear and tear, anti-static, antiseptic and thermoregulatory properties. Visually, this fabric is similar to linen, but has more shine (it intensifies after each wash).
Nobody is perfect. Disadvantages of ecological fabrics.
It is more difficult to take care of natural fabrics than synthetic ones, where practical scientists have put their hand. It is true that, for many, the "whim" of ecological fabrics is justified by their useful properties. After all, the main idea of eco-fashion is to take care of your health and reduce consumption by choosing more durable and high-quality things. However, everyone has the right to know the shortcomings of organic fabrics.
Be prepared for the fact that natural silk wrinkles a lot, after careless washing it can come off and you fear prolonged exposure to the sun (fading). Natural cotton also wrinkles a lot and should be dried carefully to avoid stretching. Natural linen not only wrinkles a lot and retains the wrinkles in a harmful way (it remains even after washing and ironing).
Naturally, to wash clothes made of organic fabrics, you should use only organic powders (by the way, organic fabrics get less soiled, so they should be washed less often). Of course, the big brands use sustainable fabric handling techniques to counteract these problems, however, this can affect the price of the final product. In defense of eco-friendly fabrics, it must be said that with care, they will outlast their synthetic counterparts.
The growing popularity of organic clothing has naturally given some brands a strong desire to make big profits. These brands pass off their garments as "green", although in reality all models are made of more affordable industrial cotton and other materials that do not meet environmental requirements. And for those who choose organic clothing not only for fashion, but also for ethical reasons, it will be interesting to know that some "fur" brands were caught trying to pass off natural skins as synthetic. By the way, honesty is one of the most important principles of sustainable fashion.