Sunday, February 24, 2008

More Friendly Clothing

I'm always on the lookout for socially and environmentally ethical companies, but it seems they are tracking me down now. I got a catalog in the mail from Horny Toad Activewear, and I'm not sure why. Anyway, its a clothing company that supports a lot of different charities and organizations, particularly a couple for people with developmental disabilities. They also have a guarantee that if you don't get a compliment on an item of clothing in three wearings, you can get a refund or replacement.

In looking at some of the clothing I did some looking into different fibers that they mentioned in some of the clothing. I noticed that some things were made of Supima Cotton, which is evidentially a kind of cotton produced by an association of American cotton-growers. I'm not really sure where they stand on organics and ethical production, and its not necessarily a safe assumption that things made in the US are made ethically. Also, cotton growers in developing countries are struggling to gain a fair share of international trade, that is one reason I support Gap Product(Red) even though Gap's labor history is bad (though improving); the shirts are made from African cotton in South Africa and Lesotho and half the price goes to the treatment and prevention of AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

I also looked up Tencel, and got a pleasant surprise. I recently blogged about a sweater vest I bought that was made of merino wool and Tencel. Well, apparently Tencel is made from wood pulp cellulose, and although it is more expensive, its a fairly eco-friendly process, and has a lot of useful properties. It wicks naturally, and prevents bacteria from growing in the clothing, and is "soft as silk, strong as polyester, cool as linen, warm as wool and as absorbent as cotton." Granted, that's from the company that makes it. I read a blog that described the process, as well as the possible downside of this material. Its pretty amazing actually.



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