The Definitive Guide to Eco Friendly Apparel & Eco Friendly Tees
We are all about making our earth a healthy and better place. We do this not just for us but for the future generations as well.
Every day, millions of Americans contribute to the sharp decline we are seeing happen on the earth.
Making small daily changes in our everyday life will help the earth not only survive, but thrive.
From the food we eat to the clothing we buy. Everything we do can be helpful or have catastrophic consequences.
We can start with the clothes we wear and sell.
Whether you’re selling garments for your business or purchasing them for yourself, being conscious of the items is a great step in the right direction.
“Green Fashion” Terms:
Before we get into discussing all the brands and materials you should use, you need to understand the terms.
- Ethical Fashion: Typically used to describe clothing that are designed and produced without exploiting workers and animals. The workers are paid a living wage, work in a sage environment. If the brand is being ethical, they will typically be transparent about it and are able to answer any questions about the factories producing their product.
- Sustainable Fashion: This is used to describe clothing that are produced with low environmental impact. A sustainable product is produced over and over again. Sustainability products are used without harming the environment in a significant way. Many sustainable brands will use recycled or upcycled fabrics, natural fabrics, organic materials, low to no impact dyes. They typically will use less water, zero waste and minimal packaging,
- Carbon Footprint: The carbon footprint measures the impact your activities have on the environment. In terms of eco-friendly clothing, the ecological or carbon footprint is the impact a certain piece of clothing has on the environment, starting from manufacturing, transport, usage, and disposal.
These terms will help you understand a little more about the impact the fashion world has on our planet earth.
Eco Friendly Processes and Material:
Next, it's important to understand what type of materials are environmentally friendly and what are not.
Most t-shirts are made of material such as cotton, polyester, nylon, and more. While most people have a specific type of material they would prefer to wear, these tees are not earth friendly.
Let's take cotton for example.
Many of the cotton tees we use are typically treated with fungicides and insecticides. That’s just during the process of seed preparation.
Throughout the soil preparation, synthetic fertilizers are used.
Seed preparation and soil preparation are just the start of the chemicals and harmful toxins used to harvest cotton for clothing.
Throughout the rest of the process, the cotton will be treated with more pesticides, toxic chemicals and waxes, chlorine bleaching, heavy metals and even more.
All those harmful and toxic products are then pushed into the air and waterways. This can cause problems for the air we breath and the water we drink.
Now that we discussed the processes used to harvest the cotton, let's turn to labor.
As consumers, we need to question our role in the fashion world's use of forced labor. It’s our responsibility to make sure we are not contributing or supporting brands that use forced and/or child labor.
Many companies who are using ethical resources for their labor are not afraid to state their processes and factories for their items.
Most people wouldn't even think twice about how their tees are being made. An everyday person would just assume that companies are not being unethical.
I mean that’s just cruel right?
However, sadly that is not the case. Most companies will look for the cheapest and easiest way out. This includes factories with unsafe environments, workers not being paid a living wage, and sometimes child labor.
We urge you to look into the factories and process for all the clothing you buy.
We quickly learned that the ones who genuinely don’t have anything to hide, typically are quite transparent on what their factories look like.
Earlier we talked about the preparation and process of cotton.
You might be thinking, “ Cotton is used in almost everything I wear. How am I supposed to avoid it?”
We understand that it’s difficult to find materials that aren’t harmful to us and the earth.
Don’t worry! We got you covered.
Below we have listed a few of the best options to look for when wanting to choose eco friendly tees and clothing.
Hemp is considered the most eco-friendly natural fabric around.
It can grow nearly anywhere in the world, from cold climate to the hottest climate.
Not only does hemp require less acreage than cotton, it also requires only a fraction of the amount of water to grow and process. In some places. The water that is required for hemp crops can be supplied entirely from rainfall.
As we discussed earlier, growing cotton uses a lot of harsh chemicals..
That’s not the case with hemp.
Hemp grows faster than weeds and requires no pesticides or herbicides. Think about that. If we could grow a crop without having to use chemicals that are harmful to earth, our water and air would be much less contaminated .
Bamboo is a lot like hemp. It is considered one of the best fabrics to use when looking for less harmful material.
When harvesting bamboo, farmers are careful and try not to kill the plant itself. When successful, this means that bamboo can be renewed and grow quickly.
I mean, it is considered one of the fastest growing plants on the planet.
Like hemp. Organic bamboo won’t require a lot of water, and in some places can survive on the rain fall alone.
This fabric is one of the most interesting and newer sustainable fabrics to date.
Pinatex comes from Pineapples. It is essentially a food by-product and is made from the scap pineapple leaves, which would otherwise be burned. .
It quickly became part of the sustainable fashion world as an alternative to leather.
Many problems with leather nowadays are the cruelty that animals will endure for us to have leather garments.
Even faux leather is doused in chemicals and harsh products.
Pinatex is a sustainable and cruelty free option that allows us to use all parts of the pineapple that would otherwise be wasted.
Linen is almost identical to Hemp and Bamboo in terms of sustainability.
The only difference between hemp and Linen is that linen is derived from the flax plant .
Along with the other fabrics we’ve stated, linen requires little to no fertilizer, pesticides and irrigation.
While these were just a few of the fabrics that could be used to create sustainable clothing, the list could go on and on.
I urge you to look into the best sustainable fabrics for your clothing and I can guarantee you will find one that will suit your needs.
Eco Friendly Brands:
Ok, so now you’ve decided you want to buy some sustainable fashion. Where do you start?
We want to help make this transition to eco-friendly clothing as simple as we can so we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite brands that are known for their ethical and sustainable fashion.
AMENDI believes that being ultra transparent is the best way to go. They want their customers to make a truly informed and thought out choice.
Every piece of AMENDI clothing comes with a “Fabrication Facts” tag that outlines the details of that specific garment. This includes, amount of water used for said garment, cost breakdown, materials each part is made out of , and even how many people worked on that garment.
All of AMENDI’s garments are made from raw materials that are grown, harvested, woven, and sewn in the country of Turkey. By doing this and keeping their supply chain in one place, they decrease the greenhouse gas emissions and limit harsh chemicals used in production.
Harvest and Mill
One of the best ways Harvest and Mill maintains sustainability is making their fabric regenerative.
This means that the cotton is not only having less of an impact on the environment, but is is actually helping segregate carbon.
All of their garments are made in the US, that includes 100% of their cotton is not only grown here, but is non toxic and compostable.
Citizen Wolf is well known for only using natural fibers to create their garments.
Ethically made in Australia, Citizen Wolf is a made-to-order t-shirt brand that is all about creating garments based on the customers specific measurements like height, weight, age and bra size.
The brand follows a zero waste manufacturing process which upcycles scraps of fabric to create other accessories.
Frank & Oak:
Frank & Oak is one of the biggest brands when it comes to transparency of the production process.
On their website you are able to learn more about each specific factory they work with to create their garments.
They use materials such as hemp, TENCEL, and recycled polyester
Not only are they using sustainable fabrics, they have also taken additional steps to reduce the amount of plastic that is used throughout the supply chain. This included implementing more recycled and compostable material in their packaging.
This all might be a lot to process and overwhelming.
However, we hope it helps put into perspective how much our earth is affected by our everyday choices.
Maybe the next time you need to shop for some new work clothes you will be more cautious about the type of material being used and the work environment used to create your clothes.
We hope this reaches at least one person who will want to make the change and help better our planet.
After all, there is no Planet B.