Mindful Clothing…

2 Mar

There are many things that impact society and the environment. Clothing is one of the culprits, and most don’t seem to be talking about it yet. Of course people are aware of the problem with sweatshops, but do we think enough about the environmental impact of all the clothes we buy? The financial impact? As with food, our society and culture generally demands low prices and in many cases, quantity over quality. I used to be the kind of person that would buy things that perhaps didn’t fit me properly, or pieces that I knew deep inside I would never wear. Over the last few years I’ve broken myself of this habit. If it doesn’t fit well and I don’t love it, I don’t buy it. The next step was to take better advantage of second hand shops. Finances played a large role in that, but I’ve also been thinking more about quality. I want clothes that are made well, that last, and that I can feel good about buying.

I’ve started doing some pretty extensive research online looking for fair trade, organic and natural clothing. But this has been a challenge, for a number of reasons.

  1. Availability:  Let’s face it, most clothing retailers don’t offer eco-friendly items. There are a few shops out there, and the demand is certainly growing but we have a long way to go.
  2. Selection: Unfortunately, many fair trade and eco-friendly shops (at least online) are quite limited in what they sell. Searching for pants mostly brings up options for yoga, outdoor activities, or items that are highly ethnic (Thai fishing pants, for example.) Don’t get me wrong, I love clothes made in an inspired by countries around the world, but sometimes a girl needs something a little more professional. This is difficult to find.
  3. Size: I guess some have the opinion that only skinny people care about the environment…
  4. Price: If you are looking for eco-friendly clothing, expect to pay more for it.  Keep in mind that these pieces tend to be made more fairly and with much more care and at a higher standard that your average department store. We *should* be paying more for this.  Though that doesn’t mean that everyone can afford to spend $180 for a pair of organic, bamboo jeans. Also, a number of fashion designers are going into the eco-chic business. Designer clothes are more expensive and organic designer clothes even more so. But I am certainly happy about this trend. Like any business, prices will come down with demand and availability.

So with all those things in mind, I went searching for some nice-looking, everyday wear not-made-for-hippies. After a couple of hours, I came back to the same company that I had purchased a jacket from a few months ago: Fair Indigo. So far, they seem to have the best selection, best quality and prices I have found for women’s clothes. The don’t have everything, but they have a lot. Quite a few different styles to choose from, affordable, prompt with shipping and a great return policy. Each item has a description of the where and how it was manufactured and the website always has sale and clearance items (I bought my jacket on sale at $40 and now it’s down to $20!!) I recently purchased four items for a total of $200 including shipping. I haven’t received the items yet but have high hopes. The items also have comments from customers and relatively detailed and easy to use size charts are very helpful when choosing to buy an item. Fair Indigo is a unique company.

Links:

http//www.fairindigo.com

SF Stores:

http://www.ecologiquesf.com/

http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local&id=5983661

Articles and Information:

http://dailybruin.com/news/2007/jan/26/icheap_clothes_can_have_high_costi/ 

http://www.ecobedroom.com/1/cotton_statistics.html 

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2 Responses to “Mindful Clothing…”

  1. Terry March 4, 2008 at 2:59 pm #

    Thanks for the mention. I am one of the folks who started Fair Indigo and your assessment reminded me so much of our early discussions on why we wanted to do this! I hope you love the items from your most recent order.

    Thanks again.

  2. mindfulindividual March 6, 2008 at 2:29 am #

    Thanks Terry! I can’t wait to get my order in this week. I love what I have so far!

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