DEFINITIONS

ORGANIC


Produced with the use of feed or fertilizer of plant or animal origin without employment of chemically formulated fertilizers, growth stimulants, antibiotics, or pesticides.

RECYCLED

Textiles that have been discarded by consumers, retailers or charitable organizations, which have undergone a discriminating process of sorting, grading and separation into waste-free products suitable for reuse.

ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT

The calculation of the amount of natural resources required by an individual or group of individuals (plants, animals, nations) to sustain itself.

MORE SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTS

ORGANIC COTTON


The Cotton Project supports small-scale farmers, especially in Africa, to change to new systems which are farmer-centred and in which pesticide use is reduced or eliminated. Its International Organic Cotton Directory includes UK retailers of organic cotton clothing, including Bishopston Trading Company, People Tree, Gossypium, and Greenfibres. All the cotton that Patagonia uses for their outdoor gear is organic as well.

Organic cotton garments are often also free from chlorine bleaches and synthetic dyes.
Organic cotton is much more environmentally friendly than the traditional variety as it uses no pesticides, herbicides, or insecticides during the growing cycle. There are many growers of this crop, and the number is steadily increasing.

Usually manufacturers using this plant to make textiles follow up the process by using natural dyes to further reduce the amount of chemicals dumped into our ecosystem.

Even more promising is new cotton that is grown in the tradition of the Aztecs - coloured cotton. Sally Fox, a biologist, spent ten years perfecting coloured cotton with long enough fibres to be spun into thread. She managed to get it to grow naturally in shades of green and brown. It has the added benefit of not fading (in colour) and in fact, it gets more vibrant with the first few types of washing.