If you’ve been moderately aware of the clothing landscape for the past 4 years, then you probably know the term fast fashion. It’s the equivalent of the term, “fast food”, but for clothes.
Big companies like H&M, Zara, Pull&Bear, Bershka — they’re all known for their ludicrous output of clothing at a ridiculously cheap price. These companies are extremely profitable, even though their prices are extremely cheap.
For that to happen, the cost of the materials and the manufacturing of clothes need to be cheap as well. If you see a t-shirt selling for $9, you’re not just looking at any t-shirt. You’re looking at a t-shirt composed of cheap materials crafted by someone in a third world country who’s being paid peanuts for their role.
The same can’t be said of high-quality clothing crafted from organic materials, where the land, the farmers and the fabric woven in the clothes is thoroughly considered.
So why buy organic clothing? Here are 4 reasons why you should start doing so today.
Why Should You Buy Organic Clothing? Here Are 4 Reasons Why
Better for the planet
Non-organic farming uses a lot of pesticides and chemicals to produce the fibers required to create regular clothing (like t-shirts, etc).
A non-organic cotton crop uses 10% of pesticides worldwide. According to the WWF, that’s 55 million pounds. Those deadly poisons—which are linked to cancer—pollute our lakes, rivers, and other waterways, affecting plants and wildlife all around the world.
On the other hand, organic farming follows the typical rotation strategy of cultivating and growing the crops according to their dedicated season.
Better for your skin
Non-organic farming uses a lot of chemicals to produce the materials used in our clothes. This means that if we wear chemically produced clothing, we’re actually in contact with toxic properties that can pose a threat to our skin or overall health.
Not everyone suffers from irritated skin, rashes, headaches or dizziness due to these chemicals, but what are the actual long-term consequences? Think about it like food. You eat a lot of chemically induced food throughout your life… that doesn’t mean you’re going to feel the backlash immediately… but in the long-term, that’s a completely different story.
By wearing truly organic clothing you can prevent any legitimate health issues from happening to you or your children.
Saving farmers lives
Buying organic clothes not only saves farmers’ lives, by keeping them from using harmful chemicals to grow their crops, but it also helps them put food on the table for their families.
If you buy from Fairtrade certified sellers, you are supporting these farmers by providing them a fair wage.
Which is something that doesn’t happen for companies that are not Fairtrade certified.
Clothes made from organic materials tick all the boxes for a vegan like me. They’re good for the environment. Most provide farmers with a fair wage and they’re high-quality.
With cheaper clothing, you’re constantly having to buy clothes because they’re not as durable. Organic cotton, for instance, is a very strong and resilient material. To process it, strong chemicals that weaken the fibers are not included in the recipe.
This means you’re sold something that is high-quality and lasts way longer than a cheap, piece of clothing that gets weaker and weaker with each wash.
Overall, choosing organic-based clothing is an optimal choice for a vegan. However, If you’re struggling from a financial standpoint — this is probably a hard one to swallow.
If we look at most Fairtrade certified brands, we’re going to find high-quality items that not everyone can afford. But for those that can afford it and want to help organic farmers, the environment and themselves, some pretty good brands tick all of these boxes.
Do You Want To Help? Stick To Fairtrade
What is Fairtrade?
If you want to change the world in any way, you’ll want to help those that make your clothes and food. That’s what Fairtrade is all about.
They even state on their website, “Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.”
Although not every product is necessarily organic, the Fairtrade Foundation goes the extra mile to ensure that Fairtrade certified companies working with farmers and state workers abide by a set of rules and standards that ensure these workers’ livelihood without any exploitation.
We should be extremely thankful. For the past (insert your age here) years, we’ve been fed the golden spoon. We’ve ignored the suffering of the people creating our clothes, producing our food, just to sit aside and live our routines in luxury and worrying about first-world problems.
We complain about earning 600-1000 dollars a month, but there are people out there living on $1 per day or less. If we want to make a change, and we want to contribute, I believe the first easy step is to help organizations that make a difference.
Organizations like the Fairtrade Foundation that fight for farmers’ rights.
If you’re searching specifically to buy organic clothing, ensure you’re buying from the right companies.
Fairtrade Certified Clothing Brands That Sell Organic Clothing
Fortunately, if you go to the Fairtrade Foundation website, you can easily access a list of Fairtrade certified companies that abide by the rules and standards we mentioned above.
But for simplicity’s sake, I’ll share with you companies I believe hit the nail on the head when it comes to abiding by the standards stipulated by the Fairtrade Foundation.
Plant Faced Clothing is a company that prioritizes the environment. Not only that, but the edgy style they adopt represents veganism in a very cool way. If you dig tattoos, piercings, skulls and happen to be vegan, this is one cool company to follow.
And yes, they are Fairtrade certified. What you’ll find is that their T-shirts are 100% organic cotton-based, and the prices for their t-shirts start at 30 euros. However, if you’re searching for a bargain, they sometimes run discounts on selected items.
Their collections run far and wide, so you’re able to find something for different seasons throughout the year.
The J.Crew Group is a huge corporation comprised of different brands.
Guess what… They are changing for the better. ´
They expanded their sustainability efforts by launching their first Fair Trade Certified collection for its J. Crew and Madewell brands.
The collection is an assortment of more than 30 styles of denim jeans for men and women that were produced in a newly Fairtrade certified factory in Vietnam.
Pricing wise, it’s not cheap. The collection’s prices will range from $59.50 to $128 on both brands’ websites. This being said, it’s a good step forward to a better, more sustainable future, void of exploitation. Specifically when we talk about a brand as big as J.Crew.
Aventura Clothing is NOT partially Fairtrade. This is a brand that sticks to the truth spoken through its tagline.
“Clothing with conscious origins” is exactly what Aventura is about. More than 75% of their clothing is organic and their brand is Fairtrade certified.
They’ve been around since 1965, and it has evolved since then to what we see today.
They work together with Fairtrade USA to support farmers and workers in their supply chain. In fact, for every Fair Trade Certified product sold, they pay an additional premium directly back to the workers who make the clothes.
Not only are they conscious of the environment, but they’re also conscious of other groups struggling out there. In 2017, Aventura partnered with Uncommon Threads, a “boutique” style clothing program that serves survivors of domestic violence and women in need by providing styling services and donating clothes every quarter.
People Tree is a pioneer when it comes to Fairtrade fashion.
Since the beginning, they have stimulated local marketplaces by working with farmers in rural areas where job availability is scarce. Plus, their producers use traditional skills combined with modern technology, which supports and grows their independent businesses.
Skills such as hand weaving, hand knitting or hand embroidery are common in the supply chain, so you’re able to see traces of it for that reason.
Again, the price tag is high given how ethical and clean the supply chain of this company is — but you can rest assured because you’re contributing to something bigger than life.
Although not part of the Fairtrade Foundation, Komodo is a GOTS certified company. Unlike the Fairtrade Foundation, the GOTS is linked to the full use of organic fabrics for the production of clothes.
Not only that, but their standards are pretty strict. Komodo does not employ underage workers, nor do they exploit their staff. They have extremely high standards when it comes to Hygiene, Health, and Safety within the work environment.
Additionally, there’s love for the environment in their control of waste and efforts to recycle whenever possible. Overall, Komodo is pretty legit because it’s aligned with the idea behind veganism.
The Fairtrade Foundation is not the ONLY entity that protects farmers and follows a line of strict standards to ensure the principles of environmentalism, ethics, and humanity is being followed.
There are other foundations out there in the world, but the Fairtrade Foundation is certainly the most widespread, and therefore the most popular.
If you have any doubts about which clothes you should buy, search for the Fairtrade symbol — otherwise, ensure you’re doing the proper research to learn how you’re clothes are being made and who’s making them.
Lastly, I hope your question of why you should buy organic clothing is somewhat answered, and I hope this has given you some motivation to start wearing organic clothing. 🙂