What does it mean when an item of clothing or an accessory is "earth friendly", or "eco-friendly", or "green"? You see it on labels, it makes you feel good to buy it, or maybe you don't feel anything because you don't really know what it even means. An earth friendly or green shirt gets its label depending on the renewability and source of the fibers being used, the process of how it's turned into a textile, and the material's carbon footprint, as well as the working conditions of the people producing the material. Eco-friendly, earth friendly, and green all usually mean organic, free of insecticides and pesticides, and many times the label using that term supports charities and small local businesses in third-world countries. For example, Common Threadz is a non-profit organization that helps orphans by taking their hand-drawn designs and putting them on t-shirts, and the orphan receives the profits from their t-shirts that are sold. Another eco-friendly clothing brand is Alternative, and you can read their information on their products and FAQ's here.
You can shop consciously easily when it comes to clothes; there are many brands and sites that sell organic and earth friendly clothing with no child labor or inhumane working conditions involved. Even bigger and more mainstream brands and sites have lines of green clothing and accessories, such as eco-friendly bags on ShopBop.com, organic denim Nudie jeans, and organic cotton t-shirts for men at the Gap. Even Victoria's Secret PINK has come out with green organic clothes and eco-friendly beauty products. Just Google "organic clothes" or "eco-friendly clothes", try different variations of words and combinations to get different results, and check out the sites that come up. You'll quickly have a list of your favorites to shop at. And you may find that it is expensive to shop eco-friendly all the time, so if you can't always, at least try to buy labels that are made in the USA and are sweatshop free.
Awareness is growing in the fashion industry, although it is still small. That's where you come in. Every individual who chooses to buy an earth friendly product over a product with a destructive carbon footprint is making a difference. Every purchase counts, because it increases the demand and supply of green products, and decreases the demand and supply of other products. No matter how small your purchase, it counts, because it adds to all those other millions of small purchases (and big purchases!) others have made in the world. It's easy, helps the environment, others, even you, and makes you feel good. So what are you waiting for, Go Green!
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