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  • Mary Haucke

Shopping for Natural Fiber Clothing

I will admit that most of the clothing I wear has its origins in the petroleum industry. Petroleum, before refinement, is crude oil that arrives at refinement facilities from places like Texas and the Middle East. I do own and wear some articles of clothing that are cotton (made from plants), leather (made from the hides of animals such as deer or cows), and wool (from animals such as sheep). I'm trying now in my senior years to educate myself more for the sake of my health as well as my family's health and the health of our planet and our environment. So, in this blog I'm researching and reporting the good and the bad about both plastic clothing and natural fiber clothing. Then I'll try to look toward a more sustainable clothing shopping experience, turning over a new leaf in this new year!

Some names I find on clothing tags are polyester, nylon, acrylic, and spandex (with common names Lycra, Numa, Spandelle, and Vyrene). Even Gore-Tex, the break-through fabric for waterproof clothing, is made in a special chemical process that ultimately is sourced from PFAS plastic.

Here's what Cottonique Allergy-Free Apparel has to say about the plastic clothing problem: "Synthetic fabrics are known for being some of the most toxic fabrics in the environment for they require huge amounts of energy, water, oil, chemicals, and other natural resources during the manufacturing process. Aside from that, the production of this petroleum-based clothing leaks waste and toxic substances into waterways, soil beds, groundwater, landfills, and deep into our skin."

This is what I saw for sale on the Cottonique website: 100% cotton, zero latex/zero spandex, 100% hypoallergenic clothing for men and women including long and short-sleeved T-shirts, long-sleeved hoodie T-shirts, tank tops, bras and underwear, socks, gloves, headbands, and shawls. Most of the naturally dyed products were white, some grey, and some blue. Wow! I'm impressed.


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