What is eco-fashion?

Eco-fashion is about making clothes that take into account the environment, the health of consumers and the working conditions of people in the fashion industry.

Eco-fashion clothes:

� are made using organic raw materials, such as cotton grown without pesticides and silk made by worms fed on organic trees

� dont involve the use of harmful chemicals and bleaches to colour fabrics

� are often made from recycled and reused textiles. High-quality garments can be made from second-hand clothes and even recycled plastic bottles

� are made to last, so that people keep them for longer

� come from fair trade - the people who make them are paid a fair price and have decent working conditions.

With the eco-fashion industry still in its infancy, the main responsibility at the moment lies with clothes manufacturers and fashion designers, who need to start using sustainable materials and processes.

FABRICS

There are a variety of materials considered "environmentally-friendly" for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, the re-new ability of the product. Renewable resources are items that can be replenished in a relatively short amount of time (as opposed to millennia).

The second factor is the ecological footprint of the resource - how much land (usually measured in acres) it takes to bring one of the individuals (plants or animals) to full growth and support it.

The third thing to consider in determining the eco-friendliness of a particular product is how many chemicals it requires to grow/process it to make it ready for market.

Fabrics considered in this list include organic cotton, Organic silk, Organic wool, soy silk, Milk-silk, Pine apple fabrics, Hemp, Peat, Fortrel eco-spun tm, Ingeo tm corn fibre, bamboo, Recycled fabrics from recycled fibre.

Fabrics not currently in this list include: linen, silk, kenaf, and switchgrass, but they are forthcoming.