Wrapped up in Green

An article on "Eco-friendly Clothes"

By S. Gupta


The green trend is in. A lot of people the world over are growing keen on leading an eco-friendly lifestyle. And as such people obviously look for something "green" even in their bare essentials like food, clothing and shelter, the demand for eco-friendly clothes is growing exponentially. And to cash in on this demand, more and more companies are now jumping on to the green bandwagon and coming up with a variety of organic products - like eco-friendly clothes !

So what is it that makes eco-friendly clothes different from other clothes? It's essentially the raw materials and the processes used to manufacture these clothes. Most varieties of eco-friendly clothes are made using organic fibres and dyes, thereby nullifying or at least minimizing their impact on the environment in general and the human skin in particular.

There's another variety of eco-friendly clothes that's made from recycled polyester. This can help the environment by preventing polyester - originating from plastic products like bottles - from making its way to the landfill, where it may pollute the atmosphere with toxic emissions if incinerated with other kind of garbage.

The organic type of eco-friendly clothes are usually made from natural materials like organic cotton, bamboo, soy or hemp. Organic cotton is definitely more eco-friendly than the traditional type as no chemical pesticides, herbicides, or insecticides are used during its cultivation, warehousing and transport. With the rise in demand for eco-friendly clothes, growers of organic cotton is steadily increasing. Again, eco-friendly clothes made from bamboo pulp is considered to be good for the environment as the bamboo fabric can be dyed easily and does not need to be bleached with chlorine, treated with harmful chemicals or washed with a deluge of water during production.

The wide assortment of eco-friendly clothes include shirts, trousers, skirts, blouses, bathrobes and night dresses - enough to fill the wardrobe of environmentally conscious people eager to "go green" with their apparels. Besides, eco-friendly clothes are nowadays recommended for children as they are believed to be more vulnarable to toxins present in the modern conventional clothes.

And if eco-friendly clothes are here, can eco-friendly shoes be far behind? Some well-known footwear companies are now manufacturing green shoes made from from recycled materials and sustainable fibres. Apart from eco-friendly clothes and shoes, other accessories like ties, belts, socks, hankies, hats, handbags, wallets and jewellery are also being manufactured in an 'environment friendly manner'.

Small entrepreneurs can deal in such green accessories as eco-friendly clothes and shoes may involve bigger budgets, greater risks and somewhat non-conventional manufacturing processes. If finance and logistics permit, they may even choose to be retailers of branded eco-friendly clothes and footwear. Besides, eco-friendly clothes made using the age-old handloom weaving technique and vegetable dyes is also a lucrative niche that small eco-preneurs may think of entering.

The only disgusting feature of eco-friendly clothes is their price tags - which almost invariably is higher than the traditional variety. Hopefully, with increase in demand for eco-friendly clothes, the cost of the raw materials and production can be substantially brought down.

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