1 Kaight organic cotton Willy tee | on sale for $48
2 Alternative Apparel organic muslin crepe t-shirt | on sale for $55
3 STUDY NY twist dress | $110
4 Raw Earth Wild Sky organic cotton tank dress | $124
It’s not easy to find organic cotton clothing that doesn’t look like you shopped for your clothes where you buy your organic apples (that is, if you shop for groceries at Whole Foods). Not that that’s a bad thing, necessarily, but it has a certain look, shall we say; more utilitarian, bordering on hippie, than modern & stylish, in most cases.
You have to dig DEEP to find the really good stuff, and I have gone down the rabbit hole that is the internet to find it. Back in 2008 when I started my eco-fashion blog, Green Grechen (sadly, it was hacked and I had to remove it), there were quite a few interesting designers and boutiques selling eco-friendly & organic clothing. Now, many have shut down. I still have some of my organic cotton camis from Park Vogel that I LIVE in and a Perfectly Imperfect organic cotton tube top that I wore just the other day, but otherwise, stalwarts such as Stewart + Brown have closed (they say not for good) and few other eco-fashion companies are popping up to take their place.
The items I featured above are from some of my favorite eco-fashion designers right now (actually all but STUDY have been around a while); I would totally wear any of them (they’re all now officially on my “wish list”). And as I replace garments in my wardrobe, I’m going to do my best to seek out organic cotton (or other sustainable fabrics) alternatives first – especially for basics (undergarments are a great way to start). There’s no reason no to, honestly. There are excellent options out there, in modern silhouettes, and at reasonable prices. Of course, organic cotton is more expensive (usually 30% more), but for me, it’s a worthwhile investment, I think, especially since I prefer natural fabrics, and a lot of my wardrobe is cotton.
(have a look at these “shocking” facts about cotton, including “Cotton takes up 4% of the world’s agricultural land, but is responsible for 25% of pesticide use”)
Have you seen The True Cost yet? If so, you probably recall the parts with LaRhea Pepper, an organic cotton farmer in Texas who lost her husband at the age of 50 to cancer (more than likely as a result of pesticides and pollution surrounding non-organic cotton farming in the area). She explains why organic farming/cotton is so important better than I can:
The difference in conventional chemically intensive agriculture and organic is literally life and death.
Organic promotes life and creates solutions. Organic agriculture promotes life in the soil, increased bio-diversity, increased food-security, ability to mitigate impacts of climate change with stronger carbon sequestration, the reduced use of irrigation where that applies, and the elimination of toxic and persistent pesticides from the water we drink and the air we breathe. It is also life for communities, catalyzing job creation with the increased crop selections as a result of the shift from a mono-crop culture and the employment of more people to care for the crop during the growing season.
Some of my favorite organic cotton resources right now:
Groceries (LOVE EVERYTHING)
Kaight (in-house brand for organic cotton basics, but not boring + other designers)
Nordstrom (mostly Eileen Fisher in here, but a few other designers as well)
Kowtow (New Zealand designer, available at Beklina)
Study NY (I’m kind of obsessed right now…)
Only Hearts organic robes, underwear & bras (one of my favorite lingerie brands)
NAU (like this dress)
Zady organic cotton t-shirt
Toad & Co has some simple organic cotton pieces – I have this shirred skirt for lounging at home
Hanky Panky’s cotton with a conscience collection uses organic cotton
Etsy is a treasure trove of good organic cotton clothing…
Athleta has some good organic cotton activewear options
This is not an exhaustive list, by any means, but I have to save something else for another post, don’t I? Do you have any organic cotton resources to share?
Do you seek out organic cotton clothing? Have you found any pieces that you like?