The world of fashion has avoided getting involved in causes, activism, however, is "in" with superstars like Bono leading the charge. He says "We have got to find ways of making our activism sexy, and fashion is it."
1. Lee Jeans sponsors Lee National Denim Day, the largest single day fund raiser for the Women's Cancer Programs of the EFI.
2. Citizens of Humanity donates a portion of every jean sale to Conservation International to help preserve the earth's natural heritage.
3. Levi's will jump into the cause in November 2006 with a new organic line of jeans call Levi's Eco. It will feature recycled buttons, zippers, and natural colored stitching.
4. Edun Jeans, started by Rock Star Bono and his wife, are made of organic cotton and assembled in fair trade factories.
5. Loomstate was one of the first denim brands to use only organic cotton. They support organic farming and a sustainable future.
6. (Project) Red, a new eco clothing line includes styles form several top brands, including gap jeans. Profits go to the fight against diseases in third world countries.
7. Del Forte Denim, new to the premium denim scene, is just getting recognized for their use of organic cotton and supporting sustainable farming practices.
Here is a little bit about each of these causes and why they are so important:
Organic Cotton: Why is Organic Cotton important? If you are like me, socially aware, but slightly cheap, you may not readily recognize the value of organic clothing. Organic food makes sense, we eat that stuff and we don't want those chemicals in our bodies. But Cotton? That's something we wear not ingest. What I didn't realize was that the value of organic cotton is not about direct contact, like food, but is about the direct impact on the environment, (which is direct contact, but ....uh, indirectly). Organic cotton does not use pesticides and the land is renewed by rotating crops, leaving a much smaller environmental footprint. Some interesting facts:
* 10% of all pesticides in the U.S. are sold for use on cotton crops
* 7 of the top 15 pesticides used on cotton are classified by the EPA as "possible", "likely", "probable", or "known" human carcinogens
* It takes 2/3 a pound of pesticides to make one pair of jeans
Fair Trade: We hear about Fair Trade a lot, but what exactly is it? Basically, Fair Trade companies are those that treat their employees, well for lack of a better word, fairly. A fair trade partnership works to provide low-income farmers and artisans with a living wage for their work. In the fashion world, this means none of those sweat shop conditions that we are so used to hearing about. Along with acceptable working conditions, some of the fair trade criteria for certification are:
* Fair local wage
* Environmentally sustainable practices
* Healthy and safe working conditions
Conservation International: Conservation International is a leader in global biodiversity conservation. Biodiversity, the variety of all forms of life, is greatly affected by human activities worldwide. Conservation International works to restore environments and endangered species. They also enlist the help and support of surrounding communities and teach people how to sustain their culture and livelihood while still respecting their environment. Organic Cotton anyone?
* In natural evolution 1 to 5 species become extinct each year, In our current speeded up extinction spasm, we are loosing over 2 dozen species per day
* The number of category 4 and 5 hurricanes has almost doubled in the last 30 years.
* The flow of ice from glaciers in Greenland has more than doubled in the last decade.
Lee National Denim Day: Lee National Denim Day is an annual October event that raises money for Women's Cancer Programs of the Entertainment Industry Foundation. This one day event has raised over $61 million for Breast Cancer prevention and research over the past 10 years. With the cooperation of companies everywhere, Lee encourages donations by allowing employees to wear their jeans to work for the day in exchange for a $5 donation. Facts about breast cancer:
* The average woman has a 1 in 8 chance of getting some form of breast cancer in her lifetime
* Regular mammograms reduce breast cancer mortality rates by 33%
* The mortality rate of breast cancer has decreased about 2.8% every year since 1990
* 1% of breast cancer cases every year occur in men
* Under wire bras do not cause breast cancer
* Green Tea is thought to help in the prevention of breast cancer
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About the author:
Blair is a fit goddess. She amazes people when she takes one look at a person and can tell them exactly what they should wear and it works. Before she joined zafu.com she spent many years at the Gap and Old Navy leading technical product development and studying fit issues.
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