We buy most of our clothing used from local shops or from online retailers, but there are some things I just can’t bring myself to buy used. Masks, underwear, bras, pajamas, socks, towels, and sheets are the obvious ones for me. All of these fabrics touch our bodies up close and personal and I’m just not ready to pick those up used. When I do buy new, I always buy organic cotton or hemp goods and I try really hard to make the new fabrics I buy last a long time by line-drying them and patching them when necessary.
Why organic cotton?
Better for the Earth: Organic cotton, like organic food, is grown without harmful pesticides and herbicides, which contribute to land and water pollution as well as species loss. Conventional cotton is a particularly pesticide-hungry crop because it suffers from so many pests. Organic cotton farming, like organic food farming, uses less resources (especially water and fertilizer) because it works with nature instead of against nature.
Better for Farmers: Working around chemicals, especially those sprayed into the air and leached into the soil and water, exposes farmers to a large array of health risks. Choosing organic cotton fabrics is healthier for the farmers who grew the cotton and for the people who turn the cotton into fabric and for the people who turn the fabric into clothing.
Better for Us: Chemicals are bad for us. We all know that. We try to keep them out of our food and we need to keep them off our skin as well. Skin is a highly absorbent organ, which is why we choose organic and natural products for our skin (or none at all).
I can personally recommend Pact Organics, which supplies our family with socks, underwear, bras, masks, and, recently, sheets, but if you know of a local shop selling organic fabrics, that’s always preferable. I know that both Bonafide Green Goods in Concord and We Fill Good in Kittery have wonderful organic baby clothes selections.
In summary, choose used fabrics whenever possible, but choose organic cotton or hemp when you do buy new (or, if you want a big gold sticker, buy used organic clothing). Organic fabrics are better for you, your fellow humans, and the planet!