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Fast & Easy Info

  • Approximately 25% of all insecticides and more than 10% of the pesticides used in the world are used to grow cotton.
  • It takes 1/3 lb. of pesticides and fertilizers to produce enough cotton to make just one t-shirt.
  • Organically grown cotton uses beneficial insects and biological and cultural practices to control pests and build strong soil.
  • Hemp is a good alternative to conventional cotton because it is naturally resistant to most pests, reducing the need for pesticides. No herbicides are needed to control weeds because it grows so densely. Hemp requires about 1/20 th as much water to grow and process as cotton. Its naturally bright fibers need little bleaching.
  • Bamboo, one of the world's fastest-growing plants, can also be grown without pesticides and converted into clothing.
  • Most synthetic fibers, including polyester and nylon, come from petroleum products.

Dollars & Sense Options


Organic cotton, hemp and bamboo clothes are available primarily in t-shirts, hats, tops, pants, skirts, socks and accessories.

Another option: clothing made from recycled soda bottles and scrap fabrics.

Outdoor outfitter Patagonia 's Synchilla fleece uses recycled soda bottles as its base material. Since 1993, the company has diverted more than 40 million 2-liter plastic bottles from landfills and saved about 11,000 barrels of oil by making women's and men's vests and sweatshirts from post-consumer waste. EarthEasy.com explains the process of turning soda bottles into fabric here.

Clothes Made From Scrap uses a fabric made of recycled soda bottles and reclaimed cotton - pre-consumer waste from cotton mills - in its sportswear. It also sells hats and totes made from 100 percent recycled plastic bottles.

For Your Shopping List:

Dozens of on-line boutiques offer a variety of organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, silk and wool clothing shopping options.

In My House

So far, the only organic clothes I've bought have been t-shirts and long underwear. The t-shirts are 100% organic cotton. The long underwear is silk. They were easily ordered on-line, which is the only place I ever see organic clothes advertised. That's too bad. I'd buy more organic clothing if I could try it on! I do make a habit when I'm in a department store, especially if it's a chain, of asking the manager where the "organic line" is. It takes her a minute to realize I'm not talking about fruits and vegetables.


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