A sustainable textile product:
  • is designed with consideration of the environmental and social impact it may have throughout its total life span.
  • has a much smaller ‘ecological footprint’ than its conventional counterpart: it creates less pollutants and waste; is toxic-free and uses less water and non-renewable resources.

 Here are three of my favourite eco-textile sources for ‘green hat’ design:

 1.) Certified ORGANIC COTTON is free of destructive toxic pesticides and synthetic chemical fertilizers. On the flip side, conventionally-grown cotton uses approximately 25% of the world’s insecticides and is one of the most widely grown and chemical-intensive crops in the world.

 2.) HEMP is one of the best choices for eco-fibres due to its ease and speed of growth and resistance to disease, with no artificial fertilizers or pesticides needed. Hemp sheds many of its leaves before harvest, returning nutrients to the soil for the next crop. Hemp fibre has natural anti-mildew, high UV protection, thermodynamic and hypoallergenic properties.

 3.) RECYCLED (reclaimed, pre & post consumer, vintage) fabrics are arguably the most sustainable choice for raw materials to repurpose (or ‘upcycle’) into new designs as they require no agriculture, no manufacturing to produce and avert materials from the waste stream for longer periods of time. VINTAGE (pre-1980’s) textile goods were designed to be used for many years, unlike the planned obsolescence of most mass-produced fashion items today. They are also appreciated for their historic value, uniqueness and robust quality. Fabrics were often handwoven and garments custom-made with hand-finished details and unusual trims – techniques now lost with the current globalization of the fashion and textile industries. 

 For more information on sustainability issues:

www.davidsuzuki.org/
www.treehugger.com/
www.sierraclub.ca/
www.fashiontakesaction.com/

 ~~~~~ Rosehip Hats: designing with the earth in mind, since 1992 ~~~~~

 TRAVELLER by Rosehip – hemp/organic cotton; hand-stencilled 
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