Thursday, March 6, 2014

kika’s Eco-Friendly Fabrics

I created this in a handout that I give to people who want to know more about our fabrics and why we care so much about the environment. I figured this information would make a good blog post and I would love to hear what you think!

kika’s Eco-Friendly Fabrics

If you know the difference, you’ll appreciate the difference.

ORGANIC COTTON is grown without synthetic pesticides and insecticides on farms that have been free from the use synthetic pesticides/insecticides for at least five years. Organic cotton protects the health of people and the planet by reducing the overall exposure to toxic chemicals that can end up in the ground, air, water and food supply, and that are associated with health consequences, from asthma to cancer.

Cotton is considered the world's 'dirtiest' crop due to the heavy use of insecticides in its cultivation, the most hazardous pesticide to human and animal health. Cotton covers 2.5% of the world's cultivated land yet uses approximately 25% of the world's insecticides and more than 10% of the pesticides, more than any other single crop.

DID YOU KNOW it can take almost a 1/3 pound of synthetic fertilizers to grow one pound of raw cotton in the US? It takes just under one pound of raw cotton to make one t-shirt.

DID YOU KNOW that the organic cotton we use is 100% organic? Most manufacturers get by with calling their clothing organic with as little as 7% organic cotton in their manufacturing. 

It is estimated that as much as 65% of cotton production ends up in our food chain, whether directly through food oil or indirectly through the milk and meat of animals.

Insecticide use has decreased in the last 10 years with the introduction of Biotechnology (BT), the fastest adapted yet most controversial new technology in the history of agriculture. In Bt cotton, the insecticide is always present in the plant rather than applied in periodic spraying sessions which will lead to rapid rates of pest immunities and possibly produce superpests

In many countries, cotton is still hand-picked; therefore anyone working in those fields is exposed to extreme amounts of toxic chemicals. The chemicals can also affect others in the community once they have seeped into the water supply. With so many products made from cotton, we are all exposed to these chemicals at some point. Even some baked goods, cookies and salad dressing contain cottonseed.

Clothes that are made of natural fibers, such as cotton and linen, can mildew if they are exposed to moisture. Manufacturers use formaldehyde to treat clothes that have to be shipped a long way, say, from Asia to the United States, to prevent mildew.

Formaldehyde has a very sharp odor, and sometimes new clothes that carry formaldehyde-based resins will give off a pungent smell until they are washed. Formaldehyde is also blamed for allergic reactions in sensitive people. Formaldehyde, a highly toxic, colorless gas, has been linked to skin irritation and allergic reactions. Even more worryingly, the chemical is classified as a human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

TENCEL® is 100 % natural and luxuriously soft. The fiber is extracted from Eucalyptus pulp originating entirely from sustainable forest plantations. In eco terms, eucalyptus is an interesting raw material since it grows rapidly and does not need artificial irrigation or gene manipulation. TENCEL® is produced in an eco-friendly closed loop production process consuming only 1% of the water comparatively required to cultivate conventional cotton. Watch this YouTube video for more information:

RECYCLED POLYESTER/ORGANIC COTTON blend is one of our favorite eco-friendly fabrics. The first step is collecting used PET containers (mostly water bottles). Our fabric manufacturer buys bales of recycled bottles from vendors or from municipal recycling projects -- essentially all the bottles you put in the recycling bin. The bales of bottles are emptied onto a moving belt. They first sort the bottles by color, separating green ones from clear ones. Then they visually inspect each piece, and remove non-PET caps or bases, or any foreign objects, so that the final result is strictly PET bottles. The clean containers are then crushed into tiny chips. The recycled plastic chips are emptied into a vat and heated, then forced through spinnerets. The thread that is produced is then combined with organic cotton and knit into super soft fabrics.

Other benefits to using recycled Polyester; it lessens our dependence on oil, it curbs discards thereby prolonging landfill life and reducing toxic emissions from incinerators, and it creates less air, water and soil contamination.

GLOBAL ORGANIC TEXTILE STANDARD (GOTS) Dyes: Our dye houses are GOTS compliant. GOTS compliant dyes are some of the most eco friendly dyes in use today. All chemical inputs (e.g. dyes, auxiliaries and process chemicals) must be evaluated and must adhere to stringent requirements on toxicity, biodegradability, and disposability. GOTS dye processes eliminate critical inputs found in other dye processes such as toxic heavy metals, formaldehyde, aromatic solvents, functional nano particles, as well as genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) and their enzymes.

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