Carbon Neutral Clothing: A step beyond organics
By Alyson Pisani
If you are someone new to “going green” or “being organic” then you may not know that using organic methods to manufacture clothing, or using energy sources that are organically acceptable, are only one facet of protecting the earth through natural means. Where and how these items are produced and manufactured can have a lingering affect on the earth, that slowly but steadily alters the integrity of our global environment.
You may have heard about the carbon foot print we as individuals leave behind, but what about industries, manufacturing companies and large corporations and the footprint they leave, and what is the difference between carbon neutral cotton and organic cotton anyway?
Organic cotton and carbon neutral
Certain standards and methods are required when growing cotton organically. These methods have a much lower impact on the environment than traditional cotton farming, as their focus is to replenish and maintain the soils fertility. Organic processes avoid using most synthetic chemicals, such as pesticides and fertilizers to name a few. These are very important steps to take in protecting our environment, so aren’t they enough, and just how far do we have to go, in order to, “go green”?
Growing cotton organically is only one component when it comes to protecting our environment. Simply put, from the moment the cotton seed is planted to the moment you wear an article of clothing made from it, there are outputs of carbon emissions that can negatively impact our environment. The following negative impacts are beginning to affect many areas of living and our surroundings:
· Weather Patterns- Wild fires caused by dry weather are up 125% above the decade’s average
· Health -Deaths caused by heat waves are on the rise
· Wildlife – Warmer temperatures are causing some polar bears to drown, because they have to swim greater distances to reach ice floes. They are now being considered for the endangered species act.
· Sea Levels and Glaciers -It is currently estimated that at the rate of annually increasing temperatures, all glaciers in glacier national park will be gone by the year 2070.
Once the cotton is grown organically, these carbon outputs can further be reduced by using cleaner manufacturing methods, taking organics to the next level by producing carbon neutral clothing and products.
How do I know if the cotton is carbon neutral?
More and more companies are using alternative energy methods and tracking the amount of carbon invested in their garments. This is called a carbon value, and this value is assigned to each article of clothing. This number is comprised of multiple factors which include the textiles origin and ingredients, as well as the shipping methods used for materials for manufacturing the garment to the end product shipped to the consumer. If you’re not sure, call the company and ask. Most are more than happy to share this information with you.
Eco Fashion is on the rise, and Zehn Naturals are leaders in carbon conscious clothing. Their clothing manufacturer is dedicated to using renewable energy sources and continually strives to achieve carbon neutrality with every single garment produced. Being Organic is just a step; a footprint in the right direction, being carbon neutral is a leap toward a cleaner, brighter and eco-fashionable, friendly future.