Updated: Mar 7
Ethical covers that don't cost the earth and are fairly traded are out for discussion, whether we choose organic cotton, hemp, recycled plastic or bamboo they all have a downside somewhere. Recycling clothes is the best way, buying quality and handing it down to friends and family, making your own clothes out of natural fibres that break down but are hardwearing.
I have recently become more aware of the quality of the materials we wear, where those materials are sourced from and where they are made...
After visiting Scotland and realising that we still have a textile industry in the British Isles I am starting to feel that we should be shopping local where possible and not have to import our goods. But at what cost? Scotland is famous for it's designer brands like Lyle and Scott and Pringle as well as tartan and cashmere knitwear, but it is not cheap and not everyone has over £100 to spend on a jumper.
Have we been lulled into this false sense that we can buy a jumper for £15 and throw or charity shop it the following year when the fashion changes or we want a change? In a throw away culture we are in we are not thinking 10 years down the line, we are thinking no more than 10 months and the idea of your friends seeing you in the same worn jumper time and time again has been fashioned to be a no no in social circles.
We have become very short sighted. It may be an age thing, as we get older we start to realise that quality costs more but lasts longer and looks better for longer, washes better (hopefully) and maybe we don't follow fashion quite as we did. Trying to get this information over to the teen masses just doesn't hold water, when bombarded by celebrities and tick tock videos promoting various throw away fashions. When our teenage son says his trainers have 'done well' for lasting 10 months and you raise your eyebrows knowing how much they cost and how much you will be shelling out soon for another pair, you might hope one day that the internet just goes pop and Nike goes into liquidation!
Never underestimate the power of an old sock or a over used teashirt!...I use ours as dusters, oil bottle covers and emergency clean up cloths that can be chucked away.
Fabric and energy
Fabrics hold an energetic value and can either be positively or negatively healing to our own energetic body (and the body that extends out from your body, the aura)...so after a little internet search it came to light that we have a top 5 list of the best fabrics to wear in descending order.
1 - Linen - The best!
1 - Hemp (no proof on the energetic value but similar to linen in appearance/texture.
2 - Wool
3 - Organic cotton
4 - Cotton
5 - Rayon/bamboo
6 - Silk - ethical - puresilks2021.etsy.com
Hemp is a great material, growing hemp needs little water, pesticides or fertilizer and actually helps to cleanse the soil.
Wool especially from sheep from the British Isles is a great way to support local farmers and reduce the need to import goods. From my experience wool is very warm and comfortable.
Bamboo is a very fast growing plant and is considered sustainable.
Hopefully hemp, nettle, jute and flax will start to become more readily available as they are very planet friendly materials.
Cotton would ideally be organic or eco cotton, cotton is highly sprayed with chemicals and uses a lot of water so it may be good for us but not others.
Polyester, viscose, nylon and acrylic have no positive effect and produce in my opinion a sweaty unbreathable warm, which could be beneficial for coats but not clothes with direct contact to our skin.
I recently bought some white school shirts and was surprised to find them 60% polyester and 40% cotton, when asked the store lady told me that they didn't sell 100% cotton shirts. Most of our clothes now look and feel woolly but are just modern man-made materials that have been made to feel like the real thing.
So what are the repercussions of these man-made materials? One thing that is openly talked about is the shedding of fibres of the synthetic fabrics which go from our washing machines to our water supply or the sea, which we drink or eat. Polyester for example does not biodegrade but just reduces to smaller and smaller particles due to it's strong molecular structure.
You can find good quality fabrics secondhand, especially knitwear as it doesn't have direct access to sweaty armpits!
Second hand is best, closing the loop and making fashion and clothing more sustainable.
Here are some good retail outlets to look for:-
Here is a link to a video about fabric energetics.