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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 [...]
The simple elegance of a Black Princess Top with Grey Fog Stovepipe Pants is at home in nearly any setting.It's a truism that often the sum of the parts is greater than the whole, and I’ve found that’s especially true when it comes to artfully coordinating shades for pleasing combinations. One of the more challenging and interesting parts [...]
The Princess Top in Bayleaf coordinates beautifully with most of my other shades.In zeroing in on my newest color, I was looking for a complex of tones that draws from both the earth and its vegetation. The resulting fusion makes Bayleaf a very wearable shade, one that’s versatile too. Bayleaf looks great in Tops, Skirts, and Pants.A pair [...]
Made of an earth-friendly hemp and Tencel blend, the Princess Top minimizes your environmental footprint.Textile production and apparel dyeing turn up on worldwide top-10 lists of the most polluting industries. For that reason, I applaud consumers who go out of their way and spend more to purchase organic clothes. Doing so helps protect our environment and improve [...]
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 [...]
Wide legs. Skinny legs. High rise. Low rise. Straight hems. Flared hems. Most of us have lived long enough to see these ripples in pants fashions come and go several times over. In designing Sympatico's Stovepipe and Cropped Pants I aimed for classic shapes that are both flattering and comfy. Looks that will outlive all those fleeting [...]
Seeking a sustainably grown and produced natural fiber fabric that would work with the whole Sympatico line led me to the hemp and Tencel blend I’ve used ever since. While both hemp and Tencel tops have lots to recommend them, weaving those two fibers together results in a blend that enhances the virtues of each.The [...]
I’ve spent a good bit of time over the past decade looking intently at Sympatico’s undyed fabric. As it comes from the mill, in its undyed state, the 55% hemp and 45% Tencel content impact the fabric’s final look and feel. The color of Natural can vary a fair bit between bolts of fabric. Which makes [...]
The hemp content in the Trapeze Tunic and Flip Skirt is easy care and very durable.Actually, most of us already know pretty much what to do with easy-care natural fibers like Sympatico's blend of hemp and Tencel. The classic wisdom applies:Wash cold unless stained. Hemp is durable and does not require hand washing.For stains, use detergent directly or presoak, [...]