Posted by: Mahdi Ebrahimi | December 7, 2007

Embrace organic cotton to help environment, look good doing it

I love black. Black T-shirts always work, black pants make my booty look good and that little black dress never fails. It’s classic.

Our favorite fantastically fashionable blacks are becoming “green.” Mother Nature is a fashionista, too.

We can do more to help sustainability by supporting organically grown cotton.

If that means spending more on sultry eco-friendly fashions made from organic cotton so be it.

Organic agriculture is nothing new. The Department of Agriculture began regulating organic certification in 2002, according to its Web site.

Recently, interest in organic cotton has sprouted, and it is being woven into our culture with eco-conscious clothing.

Think of your favorite T-shirt or those rad jeans you rock. Chances are if they’re made with cotton, fashion companies will soon release them in an eco-friendly version using organically grown cotton.

Many of our fashion faves are promoting sustainability while keeping you comfortable and looking fine. Fashion front-runners such as H&M, Nike, 7 For All Mankind and Levi Strauss & Co. have 100 percent organic cotton clothing for men, women and little ones.

And Victoria revealed one of her secrets: Her cotton chonies are going organic.

If these trendy clothes aren’t your style and you prefer more low-key organic garb, Target and Wal-Mart have organic cotton clothes, too. Wal-Mart has a decent variety of T-shirts and such made with organic cotton and is one the top companies globally to use organic cotton.

So how does fashion help the environment and why is organically grown cotton important?

“You are what you eat” is what we say to convince ourselves not to eat munchies that are bad for our health. That can mean foods grown with pesticides, insecticides, fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or “sewage sludge,” bioengineering or ionizing radiation, according to The National Organic Program Web site.

What about reasoning “You are what you wear” – I’m totally copyrighting that slogan – when wearing clothes grown with toxins?

Although many things manufactured or grown harm the environment, cotton is a big deal because the yield of crops and use of toxins isn’t proportional.

According to the Organic Trade Association, cotton uses a quarter of the world’s pesticides and only accounts for 3 percent of the world’s crops.

Take a look at the shirt you’re wearing. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, it took one-third of a pound of chemicals to grow the cotton used to make it.

Although the toxins haven’t, or shouldn’t have, seeped into the cotton on your back, they have seeped into the air, water and soil.

Of the 15 pesticides known to possibly, likely or probably cause cancer, seven are used in traditional cotton growth, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Yikes. That’s scary.

Global sales of organic cotton have been steady, but are projected to shoot up rapidly.

In 2007, $1.7 billion was made from organic cotton transactions and that amount is increasing, according to EcoTextile News. In just three years, the foreseen global gain of greenbacks is $6.8 billion – that’s a $5.1 billion raise.

Is it because big-name companies are marketing their organic cotton products that sales are projected to blossom in coming years? I think that depends on you, the citizen, the consumer, the human.

You don’t have to throw down bundles of cash for your organic gear. The price tag on most 100 percent organic cotton clothes is comparable to traditional ones.

A pair of rather schnazzy Levi’s Eco 100 percent organic cotton jeans runs for about $60 and an organic cotton Hanes shirt is only $7 at Wal-Mart.

If you have the taste and means for more high fashion, eco-friendly digs, there’s the always popular and chic 7 For All Mankind jeans made with 100 percent organic cotton for about $160.

It’s almost a self-serving contribution, a little not-so-guilty pleasure.

Just imagine how good you’ll look and feel in that “green” black, and you’ll be at the front of fashion and a helper in environmental health.




  1. INDIE PEACE makes great fitting, affordable 100% certified organic clothing.

    Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson are among the first fans of this new and upcoming brand.

    Go to or to learn more

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