Thursday, November 20, 2008

I've been wearing the same pants all week

My DH has this theory that when you get a new piece of clothing you can wear it many times before you have to wash it. I've been trying to disabuse him of this theory lately, since I think it is very important to wash new clothes multiple times before wearing them, to remove as many of the nasty chemicals as possible. Things like formaldehyde, that is embedded in clothes to preserve them (yuck!). Not to mention the residues from pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers if you are not buying certified organic cotton clothes. Not to mention the residues from inks and dyes if you are not using natural, plant-based colors.

My mission lately has been to only buy clothes that are either second hand (and therefore have had most of the nasty residues washed off), organic cotton, or bamboo. This brings me to the pants that I wore for 6 days in a row. They were new. I was going to wash them before wearing them, even though they are bamboo, and therefore have less nasty chemicals than most. But what happened was, I got them out of the box (I ordered them online from Sahara Bloom) to try them on, to make sure they fit before washing them, and they are so incredibly THE most comfortable pants I have ever worn that I just couldn't take them off. I kept meaning to wash them, but I kept putting them on instead... once I even wore them all day, then slept in them and wore them the next day too! I'm not wearing them today (that would just be gross!), but clearly, I can't stop thinking about them, so I thought I'd share them with you. I also bought some very cute bamboo kids t-shirts for my beautiful organic boy, and some of his friends. I'm so glad that the wonderful Melissa from Sahara Bloom listened to me and her other loyal customers and brought out toddler clothes. She also has a new line of bamboo baby clothes that are made in Australia!.

Bamboo is so amazingly soft, it is perfect for babies, but also for moms like me who work from home, and don't have to get suited up every day... it's comfy as the comfiest pjs, but still looks nice enough to wear out. A few months ago I went through my closet and took 10 bags of clothes to the Salvation Army. I think it is so important to support places like this that recycle clothes and household goods, allowing everyone to reduce their ecological footprints, while saving money and supporting charities. If you don't already do so, you should check out your local thrift stores, opp shops, whatever you call them, and support them by buying from them, donating unwanted goods, or even volunteering your time, as my wonderful mother-in-law does.

I had a few really nice, expensive, woolen suits from my past life as a corporate lawyer (environmental law, but still!). I never wear them anymore, but I had trouble getting rid of them because they were so expensive, and I couldn't be bothered putting them on ebay. Instead I donated them to a fantastic group called Fitted for Work. This Australian charity helps women wanting to get back into the work force with outfits to wear at interviews, and gives them basic training on interviewing skills etc as well. There are similar organizations all over the world, many of which are members of the Women's Alliance.

While I'm singing the praises of wonderful charities, I might as well mention one I saw on Facebook recently: The Girl Effect. Great little inspirational video. Now I'm going to go wash those pants!

1 comment:

Nick said...

This is a really interesting post. The chemicals used in the production process are generally used to condition the materials that will be turned into fabric to produce the clothing. I think it is important for the producers of organic clothing to be very mindful of the production process, because the consumer expects that they are getting a piece of clothing that is as chemical free as possible, not just containing organically grown materials.