Monday, April 07, 2008

Wal-Mart and cotton

From Ecotextile News, some good news about Wal-Mart supporting farmers moving from growing conventional to organic cotton. This is, of course, solving only half the problem (if that): consumers need to look at their behaviour, too. Buying less, laundering less, laundering in cold(er) water, laundering with less detergent, laundering with a less toxic detergent, tumble-drying less, and hanging onto the t-shirt longer (which becomes easier the less you wash it). When was the last time you repaired a t-shirt, or had one repaired? How many do you own? I pass no judgment on the last point; once upon a time I owned more than 100 tees, and was quite pleased with myself about it. Not that I've counted recently, but it's probably 30-40 now, but, most of those are more than two years old, many of them five years, and a few eight or more. I know one that I customised in 2001 I bought in 1998 - and I still wear it. But, maybe it's time for an audit. Watch this space.

Regarding the jeans I'm not washing, after checking I discovered that I bought them in late October, so the six month grace is coming to a close. Perhaps starting with one pair, I am going to photograph them before and after the wash, to show off what I love about unwashed denim the most (and the reason I never got into the faux-aging craze, now thankfully over): denim more than any other fabric 'absorbs' and reflects the habits and body of the wearer, whether it's the creases around the knees, or a shadow of keys on the front pocket. Those washed-and-sandblasted-to-death jeans weren't capable of that. Still on jeans (and again from Ecotextile News), a recycling program that turns old jeans into insulation. If you do take part, make sure you only donate jeans that are absolutely beyond repair. Anything else would be lip service.

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