Suddenly it is "cool" and acceptable to wear organically grown cotton clothes; being Green is now a lifestyle statement, often for people who would never in a million years have bought anything "Green" before this became trendy.
Suddenly there is hope! All those idiots clogging up the roads 2 minutes' walk away from little Olly and Clarice's school, with their 4 wheel drives can stop feeling guilty and "off-set" their carbon emissions by buying organic.
Hmm, and I thought being Green was about re-useing, cycling, walking (yes, even toddlers have legs), un-schooling (or even de-schooling), and being frugal. Paying someone else to plant a few saplings will not excuse you from making short journeys in a gas-guzzling "4-by", and buying organic clothing brand new does not really solve the main problem (particularly as many people seem to get mixed up between organic and Fair Trade....your organic cotton top might have been made from organically grown cotton, but the people who wove it into cloth, and made the garments might be living and working in appalling conditions.)
If you do buy new organically grown clothes, then make sure it is ethical too. something new with a £5 price tag is NOT going to be sourced ethically. End of. And even something which says "Fair Trade Cotton" might not have been made by a Fair Trade company....you can legitimately call something Fair Trade even if you buy a bunch of F.T cotton and have it made into garments by 6 year olds working 2o hours per day.
The "big" high street names are now trying to redeem themselves and coming out with organic ranges. He-llo!! If they really cared, would they still sell non-organic, non-fairly traded goods? If you want to be sure, go to a site dedicated to genuinely fairly traded goods, like the Natural Collection (recommended by Friends of the Earth), Ethical Superstore, Green Fibres, or look for the actual makers, like People Tree, Komodo, Patagonia, some Uttam, Nomads and Namaste etc.
There is a dismal array of organic and Fair trade goods on ebay. Yes, some is OK, but most is from cheap high street multiples such as Primark and Tesco etc. sometimes you will get a bargain, a new with tags item that is a genuinely fairly traded product which someone has maybe got as a gift and it doesn't fit or whatever.
But on the whole, it is Greener, in the true sense, to buy second hand from a local shop, or even make your own. One idea, especially if you have kids, is to buy real wool sweaters and unravel the wool to re-knit. Knitting is really easy. It took me all of an afternoon to learn everything I needed to make a really fab throw out of wool from a couple of old sweaters. Shabby chic as it's called, is in, don't forget! Make holey-knee jeans trendy by designing their own patches. Give yourself and the Earth a break by homeschooling your kids because then they will not be subject to the type of consumerist peer pressure encouraged in school (which is not to say they won't make friends, by the way!! This is a myth!!)
But don't pay over the odds just because something is described as organic. check the origin and whether or not it's really what it says on the label.
Organic & Fair Trade Clothes on Ebay
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12 March 2009
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