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Going naked is the only truly sustainable practice.

Posted by on May 10, 2011

Reading Katy’s recent post (while also re-reading Last Chance to See, Douglas Adams’ non-fiction account of his visits to endangered species around the world) got me thinking about this earth and how I impact it. I am pretty small, cosmically speaking, and you wouldn’t think I could do a lot of damage. But you would be surprised.

Lately I’ve been noticing a problem: I need more clothes. I guess that’s not really a problem for the planet, per se, although anyone who would like to interest herself in my concerns is welcome. But anyway. I missed my chance to go shopping yesterday due to illness, so today I was idly browsing through the J. Crew website, considering buying a tee for $32, when it all came together. If I am going to pay ridiculous prices anyway, is there a way to buy clothing that doesn’t make Malaysian orphans cry? I wondered. It seemed unlikely, but I thought I might as well check.

I tend to picture organic, fair trade clothing as being a) way expensive (a living wage ain’t cheap, people!) and b) way ugly, but surprisingly I found several sites that sell all kinds of clothes I would totally wear at prices I would totally pay.

(Though maybe some of these are scams. Like the word “organic,” I am suspicious of how much regulation there is regarding who can use labels like “free trade,” etc. Feel free to jump in if you see me touting a company that’s secretly owned by Colgate or whatever.)

Anyway, here are five items I found which I would both buy and wear, and I only got partway down this list:

1. Hand-loomed cotton dress from Avatar Imports, $32

(Why should I shop here?)


2. Blue Canoe skirt ($59.95) and dress ($81.95)

(Why should I shop here?)


3. Ecocentrik organic cotton top, $27 (after rebate)

(Why should I shop here?)


4. Pinwheels Batik Skirt from Global Girlfriends, $29.95

(Why should I shop here?)


5. Jonano dress, $78

(Why should I shop here? Scroll down.)


There was also plenty of menswear, and plenty of items made for people other than boobless hippie herons like myself, but my point is that I was able to find clothes I would actually want. Anyway, there is lots of stuff out there, is the point, and some of it both engages in sustainable farming AND helps poor women or tigers or whatever, so…you know. Enjoy!

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