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I blog about sustainable fashion, earth-friendly fibers like hemp and Tencel, capsule wardrobes, travel wear, and related subjects.
Those of us who seek out organic foods have been dismayed by recent attempts to weaken certification standards. We’re concerned that the very word “organic” will follow the path of “natural” and “green,” ultimately becoming meaningless.
A similar problem exists where clothing textiles are concerned. Some fibers touted as eco-friendly, such as rayon made from bamboo, are actually destructive to the environment. The problem isn’t the bamboo itself, which grows quickly and naturally and can re-grow from its roots after harvest. But the industrial processes and chemicals used to break down and soften the bamboo fiber pollute groundwater and rivers.
Sympatico's hemp/Tencel fabric is sustainably made and earth-friendly. The Vintage Rose shade is achieved with low-impact dyes. Clockwise from top: Trapeze Tunic with Stovepipe Pants in Bayleaf; Tuxedo Top; Princess Top.
But what about organic clothes made of other fibers such as organic cotton or linen? If you take the trouble to seek out natural fibers and sustainably produced textiles, you already know how comfortable, healthy, and elegant they make you feel. Why do organic clothes feel so good? The standards for organic crops may change, but the sensation of naturally grown materials is undeniable. Natural fibers, grown without pesticides and herbicides, let your body breathe without adding pollutants to your world.
Most organic clothes can be laundered using cold water and air drying, minimizing their environmental impact throughout their life. And unlike synthetics, they don’t shed microfibers into our water with every laundering.
The hemp content in Sympatico’s hemp/Tencel fabric blend makes it awesomely durable, resulting in a very low cost-per-wearing. As I blogged recently, industrial hemp was legalized under federal U.S. law at the end of 2018. Previously, there wasn't a clear path to certifying industrial hemp as organic in the U.S. It’s likely organic standards will become more commonplace, given the boom hemp is currently experiencing.
Learn more: What's so great about Tencel (and hemp)!
In the meantime, you can feel good about choosing hemp. It not only feels good on your body, hemp agriculture is actually good for the earth. Unlike conventional cotton that receives copious quantities of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, hemp is grown with neither. Hemp requires much less water than cotton too. Blended with the sustainably grown and produced Tencel fiber in Sympatico’s fabric, hemp imparts antimicrobial protection and toughness that shrugs off countless washings.
The Tencel fiber used in Sympatico clothing is also produced sustainably in a closed-loop system that safely removes organic compounds used in processing. These compounds are neutralized in an algae-based process that recaptures virtually all potential toxins.
For now, it's safe to invest in those natural fibers that are grown and processed with the least amount of disruption and toxicity to our environment. The hemp and Tencel in Sympatico fabric meet that criterion well. Tencel is produced from sustainably farmed Eucalyptus trees while hemp is also grown without toxic chemicals.
A well chosen skirt or two can make terrific travel wear or become essential elements in your capsule wardrobe at home.If you read this blog regularly, you know that I’m a big fan of casual skirts for travel. In fact, I recently put up a Pinterest travel clothing board here to help spread the word [...]
I use an earth-friendly hemp and Tencel fabric and low-impact dyes to create the Princess Top in Turmeric and Cropped Pants in Bayleaf.The question still comes up regularly: exactly what’s involved in the creation of ethical clothes? And that’s a fair question—so many “green” terms are bandied about in the name of marketing and, worse, greenwashing. For the conscious [...]
Why hemp clothing? Because it fells good on your body and it’s good for the earth.When the 2018 Farm Bill was passed by the US congress late last year, you might have expected hemp advocates to breathe a deep sigh of relief. After all, for the first time at the federal level, the bill differentiated [...]
Eco-friendly clothing made with natural fibers offers a solution to the pollution of micro-fibersThe outdoor apparel maker Patagonia along with other industry partners have commissioned a study to better understand how microfiber pollution happens. These tiny plastic particles are shed every time synthetic textiles are laundered. While many people associate plastic pollution with plastic bottles [...]
As an entrepreneur focused on sustainability, I find it encouraging when I come across ethical clothing brands who share my commitment. That’s why I am highlighting a collection of companies, including ethical fashion brands and artisans, who share Sympatico’s values. Here are some those folks and their very gift-worthy creations:The GoLightly Scarf in Pretty PurpleHand-knit in [...]
In a world where market share is the holy grail, running a tiny ethical clothing company can sometimes feel quixotic. The economies of scale and efficiencies that accompany a business growing bigger are a focus of many business plans. That’s especially true for goods such as apparel that the global market sees as a commodity. [...]
Vintage Rose is my newest shade and it gets along famously with a wide swathe of other Sympatico colors.
As with all styles, the Tuxedo Top and Stovepipe Pants use low-impact, fiber-reactive dyes.The slightly muted quality of Vintage Rose makes it easy to wear and coordinate with a broad range of shades. The somewhat dusty tone is enhanced by hemp/Tencel’s linen-like texture that drapes prettily thanks to the Tencel content. As with all Sympatico shades, Vintage Rose is [...]
Today, you’ll find industrial hemp in a head-spinning array of products. Clothes, food, paper, textiles, plastics, insulation and biofuel are all made with hemp and the oil from its seeds. A stroll down the aisles of your local health food store or co-op should turn up plenty of food and cosmetic items touting hemp as [...]
Though I use machines in cutting and sewing the Trapeze Tunic, I consider my approach artistic and artisanal. It's hip at the moment We see the “artisan" tag nowadays everywhere; artisanal this and artisan-made that. Big companies are buying up smaller enterprises, seeking artisanal cachet. Everything from bread to beer to beans is being marketed as artisanal. But [...]