Don’t ya just love my ethical fabric questions….

oooh – I’m (as we say down here) I’m wrastlin’ with fiber ethics again. 

So I love denim – I mean I love it. I love its history I love its sturdyness I love how it fades and rips and breathes. Did I mention it’s sturdy?

I’ve been looking into organic denim for some time. With it comes a lot of labor issues. So I’m faced with one of two things currently: Do I buy organic denim from a third world country that has little to no labor laws and then ship that stuff to my privileged white labor law protected ass here in the US ofA -or do I buy denim from an american farmer collective that has worked to use new environmentally friendly practices and cut down on their water consumption – etc. but is not technically organic? Ah damn – I feel like I’m a voter in an election touting: the lesser of 2 evils statement

What do y’all think?


~ by unabashedapparel on January 26, 2009.

3 Responses to “Don’t ya just love my ethical fabric questions….”

  1. i would say, buy american. my reasoning is that americans need incentive to start using more responsible practices for our environment. it’s supply & demand. we demand environmental consciousness, and the farms will then supply it. in the bigger picture, america, and our practices, have a huge influence/impact on the rest of the world. if more americans demanded more responsible actions/practices from our farms and corporations, then it would (ideally) be provided. thus being a forerunner for other nations to follow.

    this is, of course, incredibly idealistic on my part. but that doesn’t stop me from dreaming it could happen.

  2. I agree with Julie (and this is the fair trade lady talking) – There’s also the whole carbon footprint to consider. It sounds like the domestic supplier you’re looking at is at least environmentally minded, if not yet fully organic. If it means you’re saving thousands of miles shipping, the difference saved in transportation fuels might be enough to tip the scales. Something to consider.

  3. Yep – so here’s even more info – the denim producers – called SAFE denim claim that they are: Sustainable, American, and Friendly to the Environment. Just to give a local point of reference – Blue Ridge Paper in Canton claims something similar. They also discharge a ton of their waste into the smallest water sites ever documented for a mill that size. Yet they are sustainable – american and -though they dump an obscene amount of crap into a tiny river – they do dump less than any other paper mill around – so they say they are environmentally friendly – which is really saying nothing at all. Also it typically takes about 1 pound of pesticides to produce a pair of jeans. I also agree with you Julie – money is capitalist power – but this company does so very much business that they are just now beginning to supply small designers like me – and small would be 30 yard minimums. I also think buying locally is almost as important as not exposing your workers, fields and streams to known cancer causing pesticides and fertilizers. I guess what I think I’m learning is – keep searching for american organic denim…

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