The world of textiles is ever changing, and lately it’s been getting a lot greener. Today’s consumers are demanding safer, more eco-friendly options for all aspects of life, and clothing is no exception.
Cotton, the Goliath of the textile industry, has been ousted as the world’s “dirtiest crop” due to excessive amounts of pesticides involved in its cultivation.
Informed shoppers are starting to question what exactly they’re putting on their skin, and the more informed the masses become, the more they seek refuge in the safety net of organic clothing.
Consumers are fast becoming experts on what they buy, and their cognizance is apparent in everything from what they eat, to the toys their kids play with, to what they wear. Although organic foods have been all the rage for a while, organic clothing is right on its heels. Conventional cotton growing techniques have been exposed and the pushback has been felt, not only from the environmentally conscious, but also from those who are concerned about the effects that the chemical-laden cotton has on their health. Thus, the arrival of organic clothing, which is widely considered to be better for the environment and could also provide health benefits, such as relief from skin allergies.
The question begs to be asked: What exactly is organic clothing? What sets this particular type of clothing apart from the abundance of conventional options on the market?
In order to be certified as organic, the cotton’s growing methods must meet particular guidelines, including production without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers and genetically engineered seeds. As the cotton plant is transformed into a piece of textile, it must be handled using eco-friendly dyes, inks and cleaning agents to be considered organic.
Although it is initially cheaper to produce conventional textiles, some companies strongly believe that the long-term effects of producing garments that are free of toxic materials are well worth the extra effort.
One of those companies is children’s clothing company Aster & Oak.
Aster & Oak is an Australian-based company, founded by concerned parents whose children had struggled with severe allergies. The founders began researching and discovered that changing what they put on their children’s skin might help provide relief from allergic reactions. After finding success with organic children’s clothing within their own family, the parents set out to provide safer clothing alternatives for others, and Aster & Oak was born. The company’s first line of organic clothing for children was launched in July 2014 amid an impressive following on social media from shoppers eager to support this shift toward eco-friendly clothing options.
The children’s clothing that Aster & Oak produces includes on trend and unique prints, quote and color schemes. The designs are lovingly hand drawn and the material is 100% GOTS certified Organic. The company understands what environmentally conscious consumers want: Clothes that are produced with integrity, but that are also as fashionable as their conventionally produced counterparts. In other words, people don’t want to wear boring clothes in the name of sustainability. Organic clothing companies are gaining steam because of their ability to produce clothes that make us feel good and look good.
With sustainability as a high priority among many shoppers, the organic clothing business will, in all likelihood, continue gaining momentum. Those who are now creating these clothes could be at the precipice of a major boom in the apparel industry.
We may very well see a day when organic clothes are as common as the organic food options that have taken over grocery stores and restaurants.
And everyone from the farmers who handle the cotton to our children who wear it will benefit from the change.